Opponents of easing restrictions on cursing and “nonsexual nudity” over public airwaves have flooded the Federal Communications Commission with more than 100,000 public comments.
The FCC in April asked for feedback on a plan to focus its enforcement efforts on the most egregious cases of indecency. If adopted, the regulations would be a departure from more aggressive George W. Bush-era policies of penalizing even isolated uses of expletives on broadcast television.
In particular, the commission sought comments on how it should handle infrequent cursing and instances of nudity that are not overtly sexual.
Nearly 102,000 people and groups answered, the vast majority in opposition to the proposed changes, which would cover broadcast TV and radio stations, but not cable, satellite or the Internet.
“The public is outraged,” said attorney Patrick Trueman, president and CEO of the nonprofit Morality in Media, which has helped lead the charge against a policy shift.
In letter upon letter, private citizens and traditional values groups implored the FCC to refrain from relaxing the rules, arguing that there is already too much smut and profanity on TV.
“Please do not allow nudity and profanity to be broadcast to each and every television capable of receiving your signal,” one woman wrote. “I don’t need to see it and neither do my children.”