Parents Television Council Files FCC Indecency Complaint Against 'X Factor'

UPDATED: Wasn’t hard to see this one coming: The Parents Television Council says that it will complain to the FCC that Fox’s The X Factor violated the broadcast decency rules on Wednesday. The group says that the program showed a contestant, Geo Godley, “dropping his pants and exposing himself during a song and dance routine.” The performance took place shortly after 8 PM in the Central and Mountain Time zones, when the PTC says indecent content is prohibited on broadcast television. “The prolonged, previously videotaped footage of a contestant dancing nude on the X Factor stage represents a conscious decision by the producers — with the approval of the network’s broadcast standards department — to intentionally air this content in front of millions of families during hours when they knew full well that children would be watching,” PTC president Tim Winters says. He added that “If Godley performed his act in public, he would have been arrested. But if he performs it in front of a Fox camera, his act is beamed via the public airwaves into every home in the nation.” X Factor judge Paula Abdul called the performance “shocking and disgusting,” while L.A. Reid described it as “offensive, disgusting, distasteful and upsetting.”

But TV Watch, a coalition that includes TV networks and free speech advocates, says that PTC mangled some facts. Contrary to PTC’s claim that X Factor was rated “TV-PG DL,” TV Watch says it was “TV-14, D L” which means “it most certainly would have triggered the V-Chip for parents who utilized it.” Executive director Jim Dyke says that “PTC increasingly has a credibility problem. … Our research among parents makes clear that they want to make the decisions about what their children see — not government.”

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