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Press Release

September 23, 2011


PTC Files Indecency Complaint Against Fox Broadcast Network for “X Factor” Nudity 


LOS ANGELES (September 23, 2011) – The Parents Television Council® is filing a formal broadcast indecency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding Fox Broadcasting’s Wednesday, two-hour premiere of “The X Factor,” which featured contestant Geo Godley dropping his pants and exposing himself during a song and dance routine. The incident aired shortly after 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time (shortly after 8:00 p.m. Central and Mountain Time), during the hours when indecent content is prohibited on broadcast television.

“‘X Factor’ judge L.A.. Reid described the performance of contestant Geo Godley as ‘offensive, disgusting, distasteful and upsetting.’  And based upon contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, the PTC adds to Reid’s description the title ‘indecent,’” said PTC President Tim Winter. 

“As the broadcast decency law comes before the United States Supreme Court in the coming term, Fox has offered a compelling demonstration as to why that law needs to be upheld.  If Godley performed his act in public, he would have been arrested. But if he performs it in front of a Fox camera, his act is beamed via the public airwaves into every home in the nation. 

“The prolonged, previously videotaped footage of a contestant dancing nude on the ‘X Factor’ stage represents a conscious decision by the producers – with the approval of the network’s broadcast standards department – to intentionally air this content in front of millions of families during hours when they knew full well that children would be watching. 

“Families were led to believe the ‘X Factor’ would be family-friendly programming and instead were assaulted by graphic nudity. Perhaps the ‘X’ in ‘X Factor’ stands for the MPAA rating.  No wonder PTC Seal of Approval winner and judge Paula Abdul walked out during the performance, apparently becoming physically ill by what happened.   

“The ‘X Factor’ showed more than a glimmer as to why such competitions are so engaging for the viewing public, with inspiring stories of talented performers gripping the audience.  And while we understand the entertainment hook that comes from the occasional train wreck, something so inherently and patently offensive as this obscene performance is more than a sucker punch; it is a violation of Fox station’s broadcast licenses.  We have filed a complaint with the FCC and are urging our members and other concerned citizens to follow suit. 

“Finally, the fact that Fox assigned a content rating of TV-PG DL for a naked man frolicking around on a stage is not just inaccurate, it is fraudulent. We call on the amorphous Content Ratings Review Board to immediately investigate this incident and hold Fox accountable for violating the spirit and the letter of the content ratings system, which can only be described at this point as rigged and blatantly inaccurate,” 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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