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Press Release

PTC Calls for FCC Complaints Over Sexually Explicit “Family Guy” Episode

Release Date: 2/12/2015

LOS ANGELES (February 12, 2015) – The Parents Television Council is calling on its members and other concerned citizens to file indecency complaints over this past week’s episode of Fox Broadcasting’s Family Guy, the entire episode of which joked about statutory rape and contained sexually explicit dialogue. The episode aired at 9/8c, a time when children are likely to be in the viewing audience. Children are inherently attracted to animated programming as evidenced by Nielsen ratings that show Family Guy has been one of the most-watched shows on television by children ages 12-17 and even as young as 2-11.

During the episode, a Family Guy character, Quagmire, is on trial for statutory rape. When the trial starts, the prosecutor questions a policeman, and their dialogue is as follows:

Lawyer: “Now please tell us what Mr. Quagmire said he did with the girl.”
Joe: “He said he gave her a Frosty Jim.”
Lawyer: “And can you please explain to the courtroom what a Frosty Jim is?”
Joe: “Well, it's when you urinate in a condom and tie it off, freeze it and pretend it's a man.”

“We believe that Family Guy’s description of this explicit sexual terminology violates the broadcast indecency law. And we believe that joking about statutory rape, as Family Guy did throughout this episode, exceeds contemporary community standards of decency for the broadcast medium. As such, we urge our members, as well as other Americans who agree that the broadcast was legally indecent, to file formal indecency complaints with the FCC,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“More than a decade ago, the FCC issued the highest possible statutory fine against WKRK-FM for airing similarly explicit descriptions of aberrant sexual content. At the time, former FCC commissioner Michael Copps wrote that the $27,500 fine against WKRK was a ‘slap on the wrist’ and thought it required more ‘serious action’ by the FCC, including a hearing to consider revoking the station’s broadcast license altogether. This present case is substantially similar to the WKRK case, and therefore we urge the FCC to review the Family Guy episode at issue here and render a judgment consistent with the WKRK ruling.

“Sexual assault is an increasingly troubling problem across America. Joking about child rape on TV shows and using such patently offensive sexual dialogue – especially when they air at such an early hour and when they attract such a young viewing audience – is a gross violation of a broadcast licensee’s public interest obligation.”

Indecency complaints can be filed at this link: http://www.parentstv.org/actFCC1502.

The Parents Television Council® (www.parentstv.org) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media.

This national grassroots organization has more than 1.4 million members, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children.

The PTC™ also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

Visit the new PTC Watchdog Blog at www.parentstv.org/blog.

Follow the PTC on Twitter: @ThePTC.
 
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ptcusa.

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 307-9404 or email at kelly@kellyoliverpr.com.