The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for enforcing decency standards on broadcast TV and radio. These standards prohibit profanity and indecent material, such as nudity, on broadcast TV (not on cable or satellite). This page will keep you updated on the latest news and how you can help!
On March 23, 2015, after our aggressive efforts, together with other allies and hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens, the FCC issued its first enforcement action on indecency in eight years. We are very grateful that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler along with the other four members of the Commission is now responding to public complaints. THANK THE COMMISSION BELOW!
Recent Timeline of FCC Actions
- June 2012 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the FCC is free to enforce federal broadcast TV indecency law in FCC v. Fox.
- In 2012, the FCC threw out more than 1 million indecency (nudity and profanity) complaints by concerned citizens without investigating them simply because too much time had lapsed before they could get to them.
- April 2013 – The FCC announced they were considering weakening current broadcast decency standards. Specifically, if enacted, the new FCC policy would have allowed network television and local radio stations to air the f-word, the s-word and to allow programs to show frontal female nudity, even during hours when they know children will be watching and listening.
- June 2013 – Over 105,000 public comments were filed regarding these proposed changes to current decency standards, nearly all comments called on the FCC to keep current standards which prohibit nudity and profanity. It appears that the FCC listened to the public because the Commission refused to change its standard.
- March 23, 2015 – The FCC issued its first enforcement action on indecency in eight years. The FCC unanimously voted to enforce the law against television station WDBJ, Roanoke Virginia (parent company Schurz Communications) regarding a July 12, 2012, 6 pm broadcast news clip that featured a porn video clip.
File a Complaint
If you witnessed nudity, profanity or other indecent material on broadcast television, please do the following:
Stay updated on these projects
EVENT ALERT The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is hosting an online press conference Monday, January 30 at 1:00 PM ET to outline policy recommendations to Congress and the new administration. Watch the press conference on NCOSE’s Facebook page. [UPDATED – Video Uploaded Here.] For the last 7 years, we at NCOSE have worked hard to make sure officials […]
Statement by Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of NCOSE Washington, DC – In a letter addressed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Parents Television Council, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), and 26 other organizations and individuals called on the FCC to immediately amend the existing age-based television content rating systems which are currently […]
In the first such action in seven years, the Federal Communications Commission has taken strong action against a local Virginia television station for airing sexual explicit material during a news broadcast. The FCC says it is fining WDBJ, a CBS affiliate television station in Roanoke, Virginia, $325,000, the maximum allowable penalty, after viewer complaints triggered an investigation by the FCC Enforcement Bureau.
It’s been eight years since the Federal Communications Commission fined a television station for indecency violations, but today it made up for the haitus with the highest fine ever for a single broadcast.
Today, for the first time in more than 8 years, The Federal Communications Commission began enforcing the federal law that prohibits profanity and indecency on broadcast TV. This is a major victory – one that we have worked on for all those 8 years and much, much longer. Despite more that 1,000,000 public complaints and […]
Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2015) – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously voted to enforce the federal broadcast indecency law after an eight-year hiatus. Today’s enforcement vote came against television station WDBJ, Roanoke Virginia, (parent company Schurz Communications) regarding a July 12, 2012, 6 p.m. broadcast news clip that featured a porn video clip.
Fisting, Anal Sex, Penis Pictures: Broadcast TV’s Ratings Grab Gets Raunchy (The Hollywood Reporter)
This season, broadcast TV isn’t for the prudish. Nearly two months into the fall, it’s clear that explicit jokes and boundary-pushing storylines are changing the definition of what sexual content is acceptable in primetime.
FCC should work to assure that families be given the free market ability to pick and pay for programming that best suits their needs and their values. The public should not be forced to cross-subsidize the enormous bundled channel packages of channels that include unwanted and often objectionable programming.
Yesterday, May 6, 2014, we had a meeting with the new Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Tom Wheeler.
We are pleased by the outcome of today’s meeting. We are nearly certain that this new standard to allow nudity will not be implemented and are hopeful that under newly appointed Chairman Wheeler, the current standards will be enforced.
FCC commissioner Michael O’Rielly met with the leadership of various content watchdog groups this week and assured them that enforcing TV decency was a priority.
Chairman Tom Wheeler: Tom.Wheeler@fcc.gov; (202) 418-1000
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov; (202) 418-2100
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: Jessica.Rosenworcel@fcc.gov; (202) 418-2400
Commissioner Ajit Pai: Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov; (202) 418-2000
Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: Michael.ORielly@fcc.gov; (202) 418-2200
Press, Comments or Questions
For press inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general comments or questions about this project, please contact us at email@example.com or call 202-393-7245.