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Press Release

May 21, 2009

PTC: American Idol Finale Crossed the Line


LOS ANGELES (May 21, 2009) – The Parents Television Council™ cautioned Fox about the content on last night’s episode of American Idol and warned the network it could quickly alienate its family audience that has made Idol the most popular program on the air today.

The season finale of American Idol aired on Wednesday, May 20 and carried a TV-PG rating despite the fact that Fox producers used a charity donation to coax judge Kara DioGuardi into popping open her dress on national television. The show also included the gratuitous return of contestant Katrina Darrell, known to most as “bikini girl,” who showed up in her standard uniform to show off her new “enhancements.” In addition, the Black Eyed Peas performed the song “Boom Boom Pow” that includes sexual lyrics and profanity. The Associated Press reported that it was singer will.i.am himself who chose to avoid singing an expletive in the song, not the Fox network.


“Last night’s finale of American Idol demonstrated all the aspects that make television great -- a months-long competition coming down to two finalists with a Cinderella story ending. Unfortunately, it also demonstrated what’s wrong with television when Fox decided that gratuitous shock value in front of a huge family audience is a good thing, rather than a bad thing. If Fox isn’t careful, they will alienate the family audience foundation upon which the success of Idol has been built,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“There is no question that American Idol’s consistently high ratings and lack of objectionable content have helped the network reel in top family advertisers. The last thing loyal viewers and advertisers deserve is a sucker punch during the season finale,” Winter concluded.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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