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Press Release

July 7, 2010

PTC Slams Fox for Skirting Broadcast Decency Law, Ignoring FCC Authority


LOS ANGELES (July 7, 2010) – The Parents Television Council™ called out Fox for its latest attempt to skirt the broadcast decency law and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authority. According to Broadcasting & Cable, Fox is arguing that it should not be forced to pay a $25,000 fine to the FCC after it refused to provide vital information about a January 3, 2010 episode of “American Dad” which resulted in over 100,000 indecency complaints.


“The degree of arrogance in Fox’s behavior is simply astounding. The network has refused to provide information about an explicit episode of ‘American Dad’ to the sole government agency responsible for enforcing the broadcast decency law. While that is contemptible enough, now Fox has the audacity to try to skirt a fine that was proposed simply because it didn’t provide the information the FCC requested,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“Fox seems to be following the lead of troubled actress Lindsay Lohan. The network respects the terms of its broadcast licenses about as much as Lohan seems to respect the terms of her driver’s license. And Fox’s message yesterday to the FCC pretty much echoed the etching on Lohan’s fingernail.


“The indecent ‘American Dad’ episode at issue generated more than 100,000 FCC complaints from citizens around the United States. It is preposterous for Fox executives to argue that since they didn’t see indecency complaints from specific DMAs, the complaints don’t exist. The question is about which Fox affiliates aired the show, and the answer is simple and straightforward.


In a ridiculous effort to deflect blame, Fox also accused the FCC of causing a chilling effect on free speech due to pending indecency investigations. Anyone who has watched Fox recently knows that statement is patently false. Viewers need to look no further than the Seth MacFarlane animated program block every Sunday on Fox to realize there is no such ‘chilling’ effect,” Winter said, citing several examples.

  • The January 3, 2010 episode of “American Dad” in question featured a scene with a man masturbating a horse and included a graphic implication that the horse ejaculated all over the man.

  • On May 2, 2010, “Family Guy” celebrated its 150th episode by showing one character eating excrement out of a diaper, then eating vomit, and finally licking the remaining excrement from a baby’s bottom – while the baby expressed physical gratification from having his bottom licked.

  • On December 13, 2009, “Family Guy” included a graphic scene in which a stripper gave a lap dance to a male character, complete with extremely vulgar dialog.

  • The March 8, 2009 episode of “Family Guy” included bestiality, orgies and a baby eating sperm.

“We agree with Fox that the FCC must act in a more timely manner to adjudicate indecency complaints. But Fox’s decision to dismiss the investigative efforts of the very agency that grants broadcast licenses demonstrates contempt for the law, not to mention parents and families. We urge the FCC to get tough with Fox and stand ready to revoke the licenses of any and all broadcasters who refuse to comply with the terms of those licenses,” Winter concluded.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120.

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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