FCC Television Profanity, Nudity Ban Might Be Dropped

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced it is considering arguments for dropping current television broadcast decency standards that ban explicit profanity and “non-sexual” nudity.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the FCC profanity policy was considered by the Supreme Court. The two incidences were Nicole Ritchie cursing during the Billboard Awards on Fox and a scene with nudity, showing a child and a woman’s buttocks, on ABC’s NYPD Blue. The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the FCC for fining the television networks.

The Supreme Court also reviewed the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction, where CBS was fined $550,000, but the Supreme Court has been reluctant to challenge the FCC decency laws in general. The Supreme Court eventually threw out the FCC fine in late June of 2012.

Currently, the FCC is permitted to fine broadcasters up to $325,000 per incident for airing indecent material like nudity or profanity between 6 AM and 10 PM. The FCC was suffering from a backlog of obscenity reports. In response, more than one million reports of obscenity have been ignored by the FCC under looser guidelines which focus on “egregious cases,” causing the FCC’s case load to plummet by 70 percent.

The FCC is seeking public comments on their idea to change FCC policy on nudity and profanity:

“We now seek comment on whether the full Commission should make changes to its current (egregious cases) broadcast indecency policies or maintain them as they are.”

The FCC also asks, “Should the Commission treat isolated (non-sexual) nudity the same as or differently than isolated expletives?” The television industry has argued that FCC policies have been inconsistent over the years, allowing the television broadcast of movie Schindler’s List that includes nudity. Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, hopes the FCC nudity, profanity standards do not loosen any further, saying, “We’re urging the FCC to uphold high decency standards in entertainment in order to protect America’s children and families.”

Do you think the FCC television profanity and nudity ban should be changed?