(September 15, 2011) – The
Parents Television Council® has filed
amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm the FCC’s
authority to fine broadcasters for airing indecent material between
the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. when children are likely to be in
After years of
wrangling over unedited profanity on Fox during Billboard Awards
show broadcasts and nudity on ABC’s “NYPD Blue,” the U.S. Supreme
Court announced in June it would hear arguments regarding the
television decency law.
“If broadcasters want
to air f-bombs or depictions of titillating bathroom scenes
involving children and nude women, they can wait until 10:00 p.m.
when children aren’t likely to be in the audience. That is all the
current law requires of broadcasters. And the constitutionality of
that law should be affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court,”
said PTC president Tim Winter.
“By virtue of an
FCC-granted license, broadcasters are afforded free use of the
publicly-owned airwaves – an asset that has been valued at upwards
of half a trillion dollars. One term of that license is not
to air indecent material between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
“Despite cries of a ‘chilling effect’ and ‘censorship’ from the
industry and their agents, the FCC’s broadcast decency enforcement
regime does not affect whether the TV networks can broadcast
indecent material; it only affects when they can do so.
“If broadcasters are truly unable to refrain
from airing indecent material when children are most likely to be
watching television, they simply do not deserve a broadcast license.
For live broadcasts, a several-second delay is an easy and
“The White House,
Congress and the Supreme Court have all recognized that protecting
children is of paramount importance, especially considering the
pervasiveness of foul language and the coarsening of
entertainment in general. PTC research showed a 69.3 percent
increase in profanity on prime-time broadcast programming between
2005 and 2010, the biggest gains involving four letter words
starting with ‘f’ and ‘s.’
“This case will determine whether the indecency
statute will be reduced to a polite fiction that can be safely
ignored at the expense of American children and families. We
strongly urge the Court to uphold the FCC’s enforcement policy as a
constitutionally valid, logical extension of Pacifica,”
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.