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Just for Laughs on ABC

Rating: TV-PG

By Caroline Schulenburg


One would hope the network that has brought us Ugly Betty, Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy would be able to accurately rate a half-hour program comprised entirely of silly hidden-camera comedy. Unfortunately this was not the case on March 4th, 2008 at 8:00 p.m., when Just for Laughs was rated TV-PG but contained a significant amount of obscured nudity.


In one comic scene, a woman was shown naked in a portable toilet actually containing a shower. Unsuspecting people trying to use the toilet opened the door to find a naked woman showering. When the woman opened the door to let the viewer in on the joke, she was shown through a clear plastic curtain with her breasts and genitals pixilated. In the course of the show several men and woman opened the door and were startled to see a naked woman inside. As the woman motioned to them to hand her the conditioner, help her scrub her back and various other shower-related activities, her pixilated body was seen again and again. Ultimately, one of the men who happened upon her climbed into the shower with her and pulled the door closed.


The premise of Just for Laughs may be simple, but that – and the fact that the program airs during the Family Hour in the earliest part of prime time -- makes the program all the more attractive to young children. While there was no sexual activity depicted, some parents would be uncomfortable exposing their children to the nudity shown. For the sake of accuracy, and to allow the V-Chip to work correctly, this episode should have carried an S-descriptor denoting sexual content.


If you agree that this program was inadequately rated, please write to the TV ratings advisory board at tvomb@usa.net and let them know that the TV ratings once again failed to adequately warn parents about inappropriate content.


For more information about the TV ratings, please visit http://www.tvguidelines.org/contact.asp.

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