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Press Release

PTC Statement on FCC Decision Over Stephen Colbert’s Indecent Language

By: Kelly Oliver

Release Date: 5/23/2017

LOS ANGELES (May 23, 2017) – The Parents Television Council issued a statement in response to the FCC’s decision not to fine CBS over indecent speech delivered by Stephen Colbert.

“It was crude. It was indecent. But it was protected speech. The FCC’s decision not to sanction CBS for Stephen Colbert’s May 1st monologue on the Late Show was the proper outcome. The audio of the profane broadcast was muted and Colbert’s mouth was pixilated. And even more importantly, the broadcast aired after 10:00 pm in all time zones, which is outside the reach of the FCC’s longstanding broadcast indecency enforcement oversight.

We applaud the FCC’s decision on this matter, and we call on CBS and all broadcast networks to uniformly adopt a mute button and pixilation for live broadcasts during primetime hours as well. If we learned anything new from this incident, it’s that the networks can take protective measures if they so choose,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

The Parents Television Council® ( 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

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