In its latest ground-breaking study, the Parents Television Council has found that profanity on prime-time broadcast television not only has increased since 1998, but that harsher profanity has also become more common. More than a quarter of the expletives children hear unbleeped or partially-bleeped on broadcast television today are some form of the “f-word,” the “s-word,” or the “b-word.” This study shows that after an expletive is first used on television, usage of the word becomes commonplace in fairly short order. It appears that the broadcast networks then feel the need to up the ante with even more profanity. The result is that there has been a huge increase in the overall use of profanity on the public airwaves, and an escalation in the offensiveness of the words used. Most parents don’t want the airwaves filled with filthy language during hours when children are most likely to be in the audience. But the networks don’t appear to care and continue with programming that gets worse on a weekly basis.
On November 4th, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the so-called “fleeting” profanity case involving Fox, which will decide whether the Federal Communications Commission can fine broadcasters for airing the “f-word” and “s-word” in prime time. If the networks are successful in claiming a legal “right” to air expletives at any time of day, the FTC study shows that profanities will increase even more on broadcast television – even when millions of children are in the audience. In 1972, the late comedian George Carlin said in a comedy routine that there were “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.” Today, six of those seven words have aired unedited on broadcast TV during prime-time viewing hours.
Parents and concerned citizens must speak out to their representatives in Congress and urge them to give the FCC the power to enforce broadcast decency laws. Until Congress acts, we will continue to see even more, and harsher, foul language on prime-time broadcast TV in the years to come. Please take the time to contact your House member and U.S. Senators and let them know that television broadcasting must be cleaned up.
Source: FTC News Release
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