Commission expresses disappointment in indecency ruling

June 7, 2007

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals Monday rejected an FCC decision that found FOX had violated prohibitions against indecency on two occasions — the 2002 and 2003 Billboard Music Awards.

The court returned the matter to the FCC, saying it hoped the agency would provide a “reasoned analysis” of its indecency rules.

Response from the commission was swift and blunt: “Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the use of the words ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’ by Cher and Nicole Richie was not indecent,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a written statement on the decision. “I completely disagree with the Court’s ruling and am disappointed for American families.”

Commissioner Michael Copps said that broadcasters who see the decision “as a green light to send more gratuitous sex and violence into our homes would be making a huge mistake.” The FCC has a duty to “find a way to breathe life into the laws that protect our kids,” he said.

Receive regular news and technology updates.
Sign up for our free newsletter here.