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Press Release

November 2, 2011


Parents and Families Outraged: Court Rules Janet Jackson Super Bowl Striptease Not Indecent 


LOS ANGELES (November 2, 2011) – The Parents Television Council® condemned the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruling claiming the Janet Jackson striptease during the 2004 Super Bowl was not indecent and does not merit a fine. The PTC and its 1.3 million members led the public outcry after the incident by calling on the Federal Communications Commission to levy a hefty fine against CBS and its affiliates for violating the federal broadcast indecency law.

“Today’s ruling reaches the level of judicial stupidity and is a sucker-punch to families everywhere. In rendering an opinion it wishes to foist on the nation, the Third Circuit has chosen to ignore the law, the facts, Supreme Court precedent, the intent of the Congress and the will of the American people,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“When CBS aired the now-infamous Janet Jackson striptease, the response was an unprecedented national uproar with the largest spontaneous outpouring of FCC complaints in its history. The event became the biggest news story for weeks, even during a time of war. Congress held hearings and passed legislation increasing the fines for broadcast indecency violators. And a new pop-culture expression of ‘wardrobe malfunction’ was coined.

“How can nudity and a striptease in front of 90 million unsuspecting TV viewers not qualify as indecency? We’re not talking about content that aired after 10 pm in front of 90 million adults. Each and every year the Super Bowl broadcast draws the highest viewership ratings of the year, including tens of millions of children and families.

“Despite the reality of what happened, the Third Circuit suggests that the FCC’s ruling was ‘counter to the evidence before the agency.’ In the Court’s eye, what exactly could be more shocking or more deserving of a broadcast indecency charge?

“We urge the FCC and our nation’s High Court to include this outrageous Circuit Court opinion in its judicial review of the broadcast decency law, which is currently before the Court,” 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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