federal communications commission
After celebrities like Nicole Richie, Cher and Bono swore during award shows in 2002 and 2003, the FCC ruled in 2004 that television networks can be fined for those instances when such off-the-cuff expletives are broadcast. Last month, a New York appeals court threw out the organization's rules, saying they were unenforceable because they were so "unconstitutionally vague and chilling."
But, as expected, the FCC has appealed the decision made by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Remember when 'The Simpsons' was the most controversial show on television? Now it seems tame by comparison to a plethora of others. Of course, now 'Family Guy' will set the standard for the future in terms of crudeness.
Mind you, the FCC only investigates complaints about network channels (the ones that can be seen for free). So programs like 'South Park' and 'Jersey Shore' are safe ... for now.
And what sort of depraved and immoral activities will the animated sitcom of the future hold? Will it have baby eating? Sex with vegetables? Politics? Whatever the lowest common denominator program of the future is, the only guarantee that can be certain in the future is that it will be shown on Fox.
The television networks (and, by extension, the cable companies) and the MPAA have been in bed with each other since the word "television" entered our lexicon. I learned in a marketing class that the majority of advertisements for any movie are found on television and they tend to be broadcast on Thursday nights when people are deciding what to do with their weekend.
The Federal Communications Commission got 150 complaints about the content of this year's big game. They centered on two events: one was the phallic imagery generated by Prince during his halftime show (pic on the right). Can you guess the other one?
Yup, that Snickers ad with the two guys kissing (Snickers has since pulled the commercial).
The Smoking Gun has the documents, and some of the complaints are hilarious. One viewer says that Prince's giant penis guitar shadow had a traumatic effect on his son: "[my son] hoped to be a quarterback and now he will turn out gay...thanks CBS for turning my son GAY." Another viewer said "God knows I didn't turn on the Super Bowl expecting to be tricked into watching gay sex," which makes me wonder where he usually goes to not be tricked into watching gay sex.
I wonder what these people think about football players slapping each other on the rear after good plays, and then taking showers together after a game. NAKED!
[via TV Tattle]
The network says the baring of Janet's breast was an accident that lasted nine-sixteenths of a second and called it a "blink and you miss it" event. The network argues that, despite the FCC ruling, the incident was not explicit or graphic because very few people actually saw it in real time (oh, but we all saw it on the news in slow motion and on the internet). The network also cites previous FCC rulings on nudity that contradict its Super Bowl fine, claiming the FCC essentially changed its rules in order to impose a stiff fine to appease the "masses" who freaked out about a boobie. In response, the FCC accused CBS of wanting to show naked bodies to little kids... or something like that.
Back in April, the networks sued the FCC and asked an appeals court to invalidate the Commission's charges of indecency against NYPD, Early Show and Fox's broadcast of the Billboard Music Awards in 2002 and 2003 on the grounds that the charges were unconstitutional.
ABC got off easy. The NYPD Blue episodes that used the words "dickhead" and "bullshit" were let off the hook because they aired several years ago - before the FCC upped its fines 10x, post-Janet wardrobe malfunction.
Channels I'd dump if I could buy cable a la carte:
TV Squad Hot Topics
Most Popular Articles
From Our Partners
- Dakota Johnson Hosts SNL: Watch Video of the Best and Worst Sketches
- TVLine Mixtape: Your Favorite Songs from Grey's, Mindy, Parks and More
- Ratings: Five-0 Slips to Low, Last Man Rises, Cristela Ticks Up, Dixie Flat
- Performer of the Week: Lady Gaga
- More From TVLine
- Kanye West Honors His Late Mother & North -- See the Tattoos!
- Kate Mara Doesn't Want You to Eat Meat On Mondays and Here's Why
- William Shatner Feels Awful for Having to Miss Leonard Nimoy's Funeral
- Did Ryan Gosling Get His Daughter's Name Tattooed on His Knuckles?!
- Alicia Keys Shows Off 2-Month-Old Baby in Most Adorable Family Pic!
- More From ET