FMC and Center for Creative Voices in Media (CCV) File Joint Intervenor Brief in Fox vs. FCC
Nos. 06-1760-ag, 06-3750-ag, 06-5358-ag
This case is based on an incident in which the FCC reversed a prior ruling about Bono’s televised use of the “f-word” on the Golden Globes awards show, claiming this “fleeting expletive” violated indecency policy and should result in fines.
Like FMC’s previous amicus brief from July 2008, this filing demonstrates the “vague and arbitrary” nature of the FCC’s current indecency policy. The result of this policy has been a chilling effect on creativity on the public airwaves, due to broadcasters’ fears of getting fined for airing “offensive” content. For example, Ken Burns’ recent documentary, “The War,” was aired in two different versions to satisfy PBS affiliates worried about possible FCC sanctions. Creators are left guessing what constitutes indecent material, which leads to self-censoring and ultimately deprives the public (and artists) of access to a variety of worthwhile content.