In a Public Notice this past week, the Federal Communications Commission announced that it is considering relaxing its indecency standards to allow broadcast of the F-word, as well as other presently-banned profanity, and full frontal nudity.
You can see the FCC’s Public Notice HERE.
The FCC’s purported excuse for rethinking its indecency standards is compliance with “vital First Amendment principles” as established by recent Supreme Court cases. It also wants to reduce its backlog of thousands of indecency complaints.
Essentially, the FCC is contemplating allowing pretty much any profanity as long as it is “isolated”; in other words, it can’t be “repetitive” or “use[d] in a patently offensive manner…”
Similarly, for nudity, as long as it’s isolated and “non-sexual,” the FCC is contemplating allowing it on the airwaves.
To add injury to insult, the FCC doesn’t seem to mind that the new indecency standards would be applied to all hours of broadcasting, even those most frequently watched by children.
As this is not a final decision, please submit your comments on these proposed changes to the FCC HERE. Enter 13-86 as the Proceeding Number and submit your comments.
UPDATE: Former FCC Commissioners Believe that the Use of ‘Redskins’ is Obscene and Should be Prohibited by the Agency
By Brooks Boliek. The Washington Redskins name, long accused by many of being an offensive moniker to Native Americans, may also be flat-out indecent, according to some former FCC officials and public interest advocates.
In a letter to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt, former Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Nicholas Johnson, and others contend that an indecency case could be made against broadcasters who air the offensive name.
“It is impermissible under law that the FCC would condone, or that broadcasters would use, obscene pornographic language on live television,” they write. “This medium uses government owned airwaves in exchange for an understanding that it will promote the public interest. Similarly, it is inappropriate for broadcasters to use racial epithets as part of normal, everyday reporting.”
Never using the team’s name, they chastise broadcasters for using a name that is equivalent to the “n-word.”
“XXXskin is the most derogatory name a Native American can be called. It is an unequivocal racial slur,” they write. “As The Washington Post’s Mike Wise pointed out, ‘America wouldn’t stand for a team called the Blackskins — or the Mandingos, the Brothers, the Yellowskins, insert your ethnic minority here.’” Read more from this story HERE.