Swearing and nudity may get OK on broadcast TV

Mulling a rule change, the FCC is extending the comment period -- and getting plenty of responses.

By Jonathan Berr Jul 17, 2013 8:36AM
Couple on sofa watching television together (© Blend Images, Hill Street Studios, the Agency Collection, Getty Images)When it comes to issues such as swearing and nudity on broadcast TV, there is no shortage of opinions, as the Federal Communications Commission is finding out.

According to The Hill, the FCC is allowing interested parties more time to submit comments regarding a proposed rule that would ease restrictions on cursing and nonsexual nudity. So far it has received more than 100,000 responses to its proposal, first issued in April, to make it easier for broadcasters to deal with situations such as Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl a few years ago.

Most commentators are urging the FCC, which extended the deadline for responses until Aug. 2, to scrap the idea. 

"With America already undergoing a huge indecency problem, it's unfathomable to think the FCC actually wants to allow more filth such as frontal female nudity, the F-bomb, and the 'S' word on broadcast television during hours when our kids will be watching and listening," Penny Young Nance, the CEO of Concerned Women for America, wrote in an op-ed for Fox News.com.

Broadcasters, however, have complained for years that the FCC's rules regarding indecency are unduly punitive and complicated. Moreover, they place broadcast networks at a disadvantage compared with cable channels, which don't have such restrictions. The broadcasters are particularly leery about getting busted for brief, unplanned "fleeting explicatives."

The FCC appears to be taking those concerns to heart. That has prompted Dawn Hawkins, the executive director of Morality in Media, to say in an interview that "we are definitely more worried" about the rules changing than in the past. She added that the FCC has undertaken "zero enforcement actions" in the past five years.

Cursing, which the FCC currently allows in the late evening, would be OK during the day when children may be watching, she said. Morality in Media is particularly concerned about the potential for nudity to be shown.

"There is no reason to have that," Hawkins said. "There are many other places to get that type of content."

Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.

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Jul 17, 2013 11:02AM

Id prefer that reality shows are banned and intelligent content return to TV.  Im tired of paying $65.00  and having every one of the channels with the possible exception of possibly PBS insulting my meager intelligence.


We need A' la carte cable TV.

Jul 17, 2013 11:00AM

NSA = no big deal

Congress bought by corporations = no big deal

Seven million kids dying of horrible diseases every year = no big deal



Jul 17, 2013 11:10AM

America - Where you can show people's brains exploding, men and women being choked and nearly beaten nearly to death, and stabbing and gun murders all day long, but you better not show a nipple or say a naughty word!

Jul 17, 2013 11:43AM
Yeah, and if they show more nudity  I bet the cable TV provider will increase their already ridiculous
prices.  I think in this modern age cable companies should provide a base package of say 50 channels and let the customer "hand pick" what they want to watch.  If they want to pick more sports channels or movie channels, etc let that be the customer's choice.  However, I am paying for stations I don't use (Home Shopping, Music channels, BBC, etc.) and I am also paying for multiple non English speaking channels (Spanish, Hindu, Korean, etc.) that are of absolutely zero use to me and I am sure to many others.

Jul 17, 2013 10:58AM
No doubt the writers will vote themselves awards for daring creativity for vulgar language and crotch shots.  If they had any talent, they wouldn't need to stoop so low.
Getting to the point they will do anything for a buck. I will call it " Network Whoring".
Jul 17, 2013 9:33AM

looks like we know longer need a fcc if that's what their going to do.

Jul 17, 2013 11:19AM
America's media "values" are bafflingly reversed from much of the rest of the world.  The unclothed human form & occasional coarse word on TV scarcely raises an eyebrow elsewhere, but are considered the harbinger of moral doom in this country; conversely, Americans accept & even encourage increasingly violent content in (or even *as*) their entertainment, while the rest of the world is generally much more restrictive in how much of that is considered appropriate.  The end result is American media has developed this weird reputation as being simultaneously hyper-violent and prudish.  As for all the "think of the children" crowd; ensuring that media content is appropriate for your children is *your* job -- not the networks, not the movie studios, not the music labels, and certainly not mine.  I don't see why my choices in entertainment (for my self *or* any children I may have) should have to be stifled because you're not capable of monitoring & filtering what your own children have access to.
Jul 17, 2013 10:06AM

I would hardly define female frontal nudity as "filth."  This had to be written by the morality police...

Jul 17, 2013 11:33AM
As an adult, I'm not concerned about what an adult watches.  My problem is what young people see and hear.  I'm not a snob, but I am offended when I walk to a mall and have a young child with me and I hear the most crude mouth.  Or itsn't it pleasant when someone blast a radio using crude music.  Due to the changes that in the nations morality, it becomes worse and worse.  If they want to place more on TV, let it be on pay TV. 
Jul 17, 2013 11:00AM
Heck, this is 2013. Dudes are marrying dudes, Pot is legal in some places and guns (apparently) have their own minds and can commit crimes without human guidance. The female form is natural and beautiful....not "filth" I see no problem as long as it is in good taste.
Jul 17, 2013 11:34AM
Here's a thought.  How about parents actually be parents and monitor and choose what YOUR KIDS are allowed to watch.  Don't let some dimwit prude decide what they can watch.  There's a reason why every cable box produced has a parental control.  Use it.  Stop letting other people hold your hand.

Jul 17, 2013 10:59AM
most people have satellite or cable.  there is plenty of it on there.  Leave the rest alone
Jul 17, 2013 11:24AM
First off, no - I'm certainly not for allowing more crap on TV but I do have a question. Why frontal nudity for women but not men? If a woman can bare her breasts on national tv, why can't a man bare his 'front'?. Are there no male tramps out there, as well?

Again, read my post: I am NOT for more crap such as nudity and swearing on TV. I am just asking a question. I would love to hear from the FCC on this!  I am a straight female. Why would I want to constantly be exposed to another woman's breasts? 
Jul 17, 2013 11:27AM
America becoming desensitized.  Time to throw out the television. 
Jul 17, 2013 10:24AM
Looks like immaturity runs our world. Time to get them a babysitter.
Jul 17, 2013 11:22AM
 again, it is all about the rights and desires of a few that over rule the majority. there is a lot of money to be made by putting more filth on t.v. and a few will push the issue with a lot more intensity than those who don't want it. yep, we are in the cycle of what happens to all great nations when godlessness takes over. it happened to rome and it can happen here!! oh, if you are stupid enough to believe that putting this filth on a select time to prevent children from viewing it will work, then let me sell you some beach front property in Arizona!!!! 
Jul 17, 2013 11:57AM
I think the key to it all is for the parents to control what your kids see, not the state or the feds. I do think that the parents know how to work the remote control for there tv's. Why should every one have to watched censored shows just so that the parents don't have to watch there kids viewing habits!!
Jul 17, 2013 11:27AM
Pretty sure the Networks are only considering the nudity part regards to women.  Right now, as it stands, there is already cursing and nudity on TV already.  Just check out IFC.  Commercials already show women almost 100% naked, so what's the news about the programs doing it.   TV today is pretty much all about Tits and **** anyway.  But never a Man's **** or Penis or even his Pelvic Hair will NEVER be shown.  We as a society reserve those shots for WOMEN only.  Apparently our bodies are always up for show and tell and that's okay with everybody.  But not for men?  Who draws that line for us?  I know I didn't.   In my OPINION, Men and Women's bodies should be shown even close to being nude on TV, whether it's a  Program or a Commercial I'm watching.......But as they say:  SEX SELLS, and the rest of us who don't approve, aren't listened to.
Jul 17, 2013 11:49AM

The entertainment industry is filled with individuals intent on dragging the rest of the population down to their level of immorality. Sadly, their desire to do so is working very well. We are constantly lowering the bar on decency. The erosion of decency has been going on for so long that many of our younger citizenry have no idea what it means to be a decent and responsible citizen. Instead they see immorality as normal. Our children should be exposed to moral things, not immoral things. How about we stop lowering the bar and start raising it instead. For those who seek immoral entertainment, there will always be places to find that sort of thing. Leave our public airways free of such character eroding content.     

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