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FCC Rejects Several Indecency Complaints

Nov 23, 2004  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday announced that it had voted 3-2 to reject complaints alleging that a June 10, 2003, episode of Fox Broadcasting’s “Keen Eddie” ran afoul of agency indecency prohibitions.

The episode at issue, about black market trafficking in horse semen, included a scene in which a prostitute has been recruited to help extract semen from a horse. The prostitute, described as “filthy slut,” protests her assignment. “No, that’s not natural,” she says, at one point, according to the FCC. She is subsequently shown standing over a horse in a stable, explaining that the horse keeled over and died when she tried to arouse the animal by lifting her shirt.

The FCC majority ruled that the scene was not sufficiently explicit or graphic to be considered a violation. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, a Democrat, and Commissioner Kevin Martin, a Republican, dissented. The two also dissented from a decision to reject complaints about episodes of The WB’s “Off Centre” that aired Oct. 3 and Oct. 10, 2003.

The first episode focused on a man who has clogged up the toilet in the apartment of a woman that he has just met but would like to know better. The second featured a urologist discussing an embarrassed man’s sexual problems in front of a woman in an elevator.

In yet another decision, the FCC unanimously rejected complaints about NBC episodes of “Coupling” that aired October 2003.

“Despite repeated references to sexual activities and organs, which we find troubling, none of the episodes contain graphic descriptions of sexual activities and organs or uses language that is so graphic as to qualify as indecent or profane,” the FCC said.

In a statement, the Parents Television Council alleged that the FCC had chosen to release the decisions on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday to downplay media coverage. “We will expose the FCC’s decisions over the coming weeks,” PTC President Brent Bozell said in a statement.