Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in FCC v. Fox.The Court found in favor of the Federal Communications Commission, stating that the FCC acted properly in citing the Fox network for airing the f- and s-words during awards shows. (Click here for a full history of the case and the treatment of indecency by the FCC.)
This ruling is a victory for every American family, and the Parents Television Council praises the Supreme Court for taking the case and the FCC for pursuing its appeal. Parents have a right to expect that their children will not be exposed to profanity; and by its decision, the Supreme Court has reaffirmed that the broadcast airwaves do indeed belong to the American people, not the broadcast networks which use them, free of charge, to make billions of dollars in profit every year.
Both by their past actions in airing profanity and in the brief they filed with the Court, America’s broadcast networks have made it clear that they don’t want any rules against indecency at all. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s timely decision, the networks now know that they are still subject to laws against indecency on the people’s airwaves.
The Fox network has tried for years to evade the law and has avoided paying fines even while it has aired even more indecent material…and the other networks followed suit. Unfortunately, until this case was settled, the FCC was paralyzed legally, unable to act on other citizen complaints of indecent material.
But now that the case has been settled, we urge the FCC to act quickly on its backlog of indecency complaints. The PTC also demands that from now on, the broadcast networks obey the law, rather than fight it and push the boundaries with profanity and disgusting TV content at every turn.