January 3, 2006

Action Alert: PTC Fires Up Complaint Machine

Posted by Amanda Toering
Monday August 01st 2005, 11:00 am
Filed under: Action, PTC

They took a break, but the PTC complainers are back in action.

Speak up now!

The Parents Television Council announced on July 19th that it had filed yet another indecency complaint, this time against the Fox show “The Inside.”

Says the PTC’s website:

The episode included graphic discussions about the characters’ sexual practices, scenes of a man and woman engaged in S&M role playing, gory images of dismembered and mutilated bodies, and a strongly implied male rape.

Role-playing? Implied sexual activity? Gore?

So what?

Tell the FCC that “implied” indcency is NOT INDECENT and does not deserve hefty FCC fines.

Speak up now!

Action Alert

Brent Bozell and his army of “concerned parents” are no longer content to complain about F-bombs and wardrobe malfunctions. Nope, the Parents Television Council has ramped up its attempts to reshape American culture in its own holier-than-us image. Now they’re complaining about implied indecency.

What exactly is “implied” offensive content?

We’re not exactly sure. Chances are Brent Bozell isn’t sure either, but that doesn’t stop him from firing up his complaint generator.

The PTC’s latest charge on the FCC involves the Fox network’s crime drama “The Inside.” According to the series’ creator, “this show is about damaged people — the only interesting kind — and about how their damage sometimes makes them especially suited to the work that they do.”

The PTC doesn’t believe that “damaged” people should be portrayed on television. Further, the PTC believes that evidence of people’s damage, their crimes, their failings — in other words, the meat of most television dramas — should not even be should not even be acknowledged, off-screen, during television broadcasts.

Here’s how the PTC describes one “offensive” scene from “The Inside.”

Det. Strong unbuttons his shirt cuffs and rolls his sleeves up, and then he starts unbuttoning his shirt. “That’s right. I want to hear you beg. I want to hear you plead. But mostly I want to hear you scream. That’s the last thing I ever want to hear from you.”

The scene cuts to the outside of the cabin. Brandt can be heard screaming “Please, please, no! Ahh…” It is implied that Strong raped Brandt.

Brandt, sweaty and out of breath says, “You can open your eyes now. Wouldn’t want you to miss the grand finale.” He picks up a revolver and spins the chamber.

Brandt: “Go ahead. Do whatever. I don’t care. You’re weak.”

Strong: “I know.”

The scene cuts again to outside the cabin, where a gun shot is heard and a flash is seen through the window. Agents break into the cabin and see Strong slumped dead against a wall with a bullet hole in his head and blood on his tee-shirt. Rebecca removes the handcuffs holding Brandt to the bed.

Offensive? How can it be “offensive” by FCC standards when the horrible thing that happened is the the viewer’s imagination?

In its complaint, the PTC also whines about “sexual innuendo.” (There goes the sitcom industry…) They complain about photos of a cadaver. (A fake cadaver; this is TV, after all.) They complain about the depiction of a crime in which a woman is presumably about to be assaulted by a man in a leather mask. (Care to read the complaint letter for yourself?)

There is no doubt that these images would be distasteful to some. That does not mean Fox deserves hefty fines — it means those people should turn their televisions off.

“The Inside” is an adult show. It contains adult themes. That does not make it obscene or indecent. Yet the PTC urges its members to tell the FCC that “this kind of material doesn’t belong on television — particularly on the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves during early primetime hours.”

This kind of material is not suitable for every viewer. It is not intended to be. That does not mean, however, that it is unsuitable for everyone.

Fight back against the Parents Television Council’s efforts to scrub television of edgy, creative, adult programming. Tell the FCC that “The Inside” is not indecent — it’s just targeted to an audience that does not include Brent Bozell.

And that’s okay.

Send your letter now.

Previous: Crying Over Spilled “Hot Coffee” || Home || Next: A “Current” Affair

4 Comments so far

The SpeakSpeak concept in action.

I like it.

Comment by Eric Jaffa 07.14.05 @ 11:59 am

I added to my letter this paragrpah, below the paragraph with the FCC quote:

The agency later ruled that the f-word can violate indecency rules even when not used to describe sex. However, there was appropriately no fine in that awards-show case. Nor should there be one in this case. The inoffensive use of the word in the lyrics of an old song do not warrant agency action.

Comment by Eric Jaffa 07.14.05 @ 7:06 pm

It should also be noted that ABC only aired the “offending” version in the Eastern Time Zone feed. Later feeds had bleeped out the f-word. This would decrease any potential fine substantially.

Comment by Doc Larry 07.19.05 @ 7:23 pm

True, Larry, although the PTC’s official complaint asks the FCC to “investigate” which stations aired the unedited broadcast. This means that, if they follow the rules, the FCC must request and review the west coast broadcasts as well.

Comment by Amanda Toering 07.19.05 @ 9:32 pm

Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Your e-mail address is never displayed. Basic HTML is allowed. Including more than one link makes you look like a spammer and will cause your comment to be held in moderation.