With the current lack of enforcement by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on decency standards, TV networks are pushing the boundaries to air indecent content. Fox proved this in the special promotion of its sexually explicit cartoon program Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD) before 10 p.m., the current time the FCC permits content not suitable for children.
ADHD comes from the creator of Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming. The special feature on July 21 aired at 9:30 p.m. EST and 8:30 p.m. CST and MST. As Parents Television Council describes in detail, Fox’s online content features graphic nudity, language and violence that is not suitable for a younger audience.
Fox chose to blatantly ignore the regulation that inappropriate content not be shown before 10 p.m., largely because it knows the FCC will not take action.
The rampant disregard for federal law is outrageous, but what can you expect when the FCC refuses to do its job? It is not surprising when you look at the FCC’s track record. After throwing out more than 1 million citizen complaints, the FCC proposed allowing “isolated incidences” of nudity and profanity on network television. More than 100,000 people submitted comments overwhelmingly opposed to indecent programming on the public airwaves.
The FCC is the guardian of broadcast decency, and they must enforce the law.
We need to make sure that any new commissioners added to the FCC commit to enforcing current federal law. Morality in Media, along with 70 other groups, delivered a letter to all U.S. senators urging them to vote down President Obama’s nominee to chair the FCC, Tom Wheeler, unless he commits to vigorously enforce the federal decency law.
Dawn Hawkins is executive director of Morality in Media.