FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 20, 2012
LOS ANGELES (August 20th, 2012) – Today,
Parents Television Council®
released results of a research analysis regarding nudity on
prime-time broadcast television. PTC found a 407% increase in the
amount of full nudity that aired in the 2011–2012 study period
compared to the same time period the previous year. In light of the
findings, PTC president Tim Winter sent a
to congressional members asking them to urge the Federal
Communications Commission to move forward in clearing the backlog of
1.6 million unadjudicated indecency complaints.
In their analysis, PTC also found trends
towards more full-frontal nudity, full nudity at earlier hours of
the evening, and a clear failure on the part of the TV networks to
use their content ratings system to warn parents. The following are
excerpts from PTC’s letter to congressional members:
"In 2006, Congress passed the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act in
response to growing outrage from the American people over the
broadcast networks’ abuse of the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves.
Yet since that time, we have seen a concerted effort on the part of
the networks to constantly push the outer limit of what may be
considered appropriate for the broadcast medium.
"Contrary to what executives from NBC,
ABC, and CBS told you in 2004 and 2005, and contrary to what
attorneys for the networks recently argued before the Supreme Court,
they are not acting in the public interest; they are aggressively
pursuing a dangerous agenda to completely obliterate any remaining
"During prime time hours across all
broadcast networks, use of the bleeped or muted f-word increased
from 11 instances in 2005 to 276 instances in 2010 – an increase of
2,409%... It’s not just the language that’s getting coarser. PTC
research has found a staggering increase in the frequency and
explicitness of pixelated nudity on the broadcast networks during
"The networks have made it abundantly
clear they have no intention of respecting either the broadcast
licenses they’ve been granted or the public in whose interest they
are licensed to serve. Therefore the American people, whose
values are being assaulted on a nightly basis, must insist that the
Federal Communications Commission vigorously enforce broadcast
decency laws, as mandated by the Congress and affirmed by the
"We call on you to give the FCC your full
support for decency enforcement; to urge the FCC to move forward
with all due haste in clearing the backlog of 1.6 million
unadjudicated indecency complaints; and to give the FCC the tools it
needs to ensure enforcement actions are meaningful and appropriate…
Because Our Children Are Watching."
Pinpointing September 1 – May 31 as the study period, the Parents
Television Council compared depictions of full nudity during the
2010–2011 prime-time broadcast television season to depictions
during the 2011–2012 season and found the number ballooned from 15
incidents to 76. This analysis excludes animated nudity or suggested
full nudity and only includes scenes in which individuals are
completely unclothed and only the sexual organs are blurred from the
viewer. The analysis includes network specials, but excludes
traditional news and sports.
During the 2011-2012 season there were 76 incidents of full
nudity on 37 shows compared to 15 incidents in 14 shows the previous
year, representing a 407% increase in incidents.
Almost 70% of the scenes that depicted
full nudity during the 2011–2012 study period were on shows that
aired before 9:00 pm and as early as 7:00 pm. In comparison, 50%
of the full nudity scenes aired after 9:00 pm the previous year.
Out of 76 instances of full nudity
during the 2011–2012 study period, only five of those depictions
occurred on shows that contained an "S" descriptor alerting
parents to the explicit adult content.
Relative to full-frontal nudity, one
instance occurred during the 2010–2011 study period and by the
same time the following year, 64 instances of full-frontal nudity
had aired. This represents a 6300% increase in just one year.
There was a 2700% increase in the use
of blurring or pixilation to cover body parts in 2011–2012
compared to the previous year (n = 56 and n = 2 respectively).
During the 2010–2011 study period,
black bars, logos, and/or conveniently placed objects in a scene
were used to block the view of sexual organs from the viewer 87%
of the time. In contrast, during the 2011–2012 study period, 74%
of the incidents of full nudity used blurring or pixilation to
cover sexual body parts.
To view additional data including examples
of the content, please visit
To view the full letter, please visit:
or Katie Glenn at (703) 683-5004, ext. 144.
To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council,
please contact 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.