prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Bleeping and Blurring on Network TV

Posted by prof e on September 6, 2012

Regulating indecency on broadcast TV is a tricky business. First of all, the American public does not agree on what is or isn’t indecent. Differences of geography, background, religiosity, and age account for much of the variance…but even then it is difficult to find commonality on what is or isn’t appropriate for prime time TV when children may be in the audience. Another complicating factor is that the networks are competing with basic and premium cable/satellite TV programming which is not subject to the same regulatory scrutiny as over-the-air TV networks. To further confuse the issue, the increase in IPTV and smart TVs that stream video content over the internet makes the distinction of broadcast TV’s more restrictive content policies appear less and less relevant.

Despite–or perhaps because of–the confusion, the controversy is not going away. A study by the media watchdog group Parents Television Council revealed a significant increase in the number of instances of pixelated “full-frontal nudity” on network TV. According the PTC, there was one instance in the 2010-2011 season and 64 in the most recent season. Use of pixelation allows the networks to avoid prosecution by the FCC while implying nudity for comedic or dramatic effect.

According to a quote in the LA Times, PTC President Tim Winter said,

pixilated flesh is “unfortunate, unnecessary and offensive to the family audience” and that it happened more often in 7 to 9 p.m. shows, when kids could be watching, than in those airing after 10 p.m. Nor did the shows’ ratings always warn parents of sensitive content.

Because of the sensitive nature of these issues and the difficulty of making the right decision during the initial filming or taping, occasionally special effects are used in post production to modify the frames that might cross the line. According the same article in the LA Times,

John Gross, a veteran visual effects supervisor at L.A.-based Eden FX, said he and other effects executives are often asked to add pixels or shadow parts of actors’ bodies so network shows will pass muster with censors. They also draw clothes back on so that programs can be sold to international markets more modest than the U.S.

The FCC’s polities on indecent language are also under scrutiny. Currently the courts are wrestling with the proper interpretation of regulatory policies that prohibit “language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities.” Radio stations carrying the Howard Stern Show racked up about $2.5 million in FCC fines before Stern moved from broadcast radio to Sirius XM satellite radio, which is exempt from FCC indecency policies. After several awards show incidents, it is now common policy on live radio and TV to have a short delay which allows a censor to hit a switch to mute the sound or picture in the event of an unscripted moment of vulgarity or profanity.

This practice has become so commonplace that Jimmy Kimmel has a reoccurring segment called “This Week in Unnecessary Censorship” in which he “bleeps and blurs” video clips to give the appearance of vulgarity and indecency when in fact nothing of the sort had taken place. But viewers are easily persuaded to fill in the gaps by imagining the worst. The same phenomenon is happening with the pixelation of full-frontal nudity. Even though the actors are wearing flesh-colored undergarments, the pixelated image encourages the viewer to assume or imagine that the actor is indeed nude in the scene.

So here’s the question: where does offense over indecency happen? Is it in the word or image presented,  in the mind of the audience member, or, somewhere in between?


36 Responses to “Bleeping and Blurring on Network TV”

  1. Christine Jun said

    What grabbed my attention about this article was one of my favorite actress/ models, Krysten Ritter. The picture obviously grabbed from the show “Don’t Trust the B**** in Apartment 23,” this article deals with FCC regulations on indecency and decency shown on public television during primetime hours. The use of pixelated distortion of a certain scene, is in my opinion, not a wise decision. One, I’d like to think of the side of the actors, that they had to perform naked in front of people, cameras for crying out loud! If you’re going to pixelate it, why not just imply nudity and save the actors a bunch of trouble and perhaps maybe even shame and just enforce a rule that imlpied nudity is acceptable? It’s as if we don’t look at ourselves naked after we shower, I don’t know, maybe some of us as never nudes, point being that if the FCC is so strict on this policy, just advise that cropping the shot to a close up shot saves the show and actors a lot of grief.

  2. Kay Kay McElwrath said

    When it comes to blurring out or bleeping out things in movies it just makes your mind wonder, perhaps to something even worse then what is really going on. I believe that before the movie begins it should state what is about to be shown, I know most movies do, but some like to hide what you really are going to be exposed to. People complaining about there being nudity on when children are most likely watching tv can simply resolve that problem; change the channel, block channels or shows that have that in there. People are freaking out to much about simple things like this making it a bigger deal then what it is. If it is pixelated you should have no worries, people can imagine the same things when people are wearing clothes.

  3. Jovaun Rodriguez said

    Even though as a mature audience or watcher I am aware of other audiences and that in my opinion things are fine the way they are for a few reasons. The comparison of the television we have now that is TV networks that are broadcasted to majority television sets in comparison to satellite /cable television is different for the price and value of the entertainment. The standard television is screened by the FCC for apropriate visual interaction is only standard which in my opnion is fine to keep track of what is shown because the standard networks and standard cable. In present day for certain viewers it has to be monitored so that the majority of audiences continue to watch the certain program. In that aspect of certain viewers if they want a movie or show that isnt pixilated then they should probably just invest in satellite / cable TV for the original experience of the content. In this example can be similar to the digital divide in comparison of those who can afford television as it is or a different experience for certain viewing entertainment of IPTV and smart TVs with less restriction and more content. Even for the better television technology the shows and movies can still be restricted with security if there was children around it thus regular television may show certain things but is restricted for all audiences were there is IPTV that has control of restriction for what is being watched.

  4. Brianna Greer said

    I honestly don’t see anthing wrong with “pixalated” television. You cant see anybodies privates so i don’t see the big deal. I watch a good amount of sitcoms at night and i havent ever seen anybodies body pixalated. I do watch alot of reality shows and they’re alot of pixalated images. I understand the pixalations in reality television because you can’t predict what people do. I also believe that if parent have a problem with letting thier child watch pixalated nudity they should record the show and if they find it unsuitable then don’t let them watch it, also they’re are rating and if parents choose to ignore them then they shouldn’t complain about what they see.

  5. Charlie Moreschini said

    Though I consider myself to be a mature and seasoned television viewer, I can understand how these images can be inappropriate or even horrific for other audience members. The other night I was watching a preview for the new show on FOX called “The New Normal,” by the producers of “Glee.” Within the first few minutes of the show, two cast members were fornicating, using pixilation on the woman’s private parts, and not leaving much for the imagination. My younger brother sitting next to me was scarred for life. It is obvious that television has gotten more lenient on what the show viewers. This program airing around 8 pm on a Monday night, was way too inappropriate for my 12 year old brother, it even shocked me and my mother. Though with new technologies come new and differing content, I am unsure whether this is good or bad. In the blog above it is said that they change normal US television for other countries, and I believe that in some instances it should be changed for the United States as well. Blurring and bleeping can of course make the mind wander, but the audience has no other choice. They may expect the worst, but that is what cable television has forced them to do. Naked actors can make the same statement as a completely clothed actor, and there is an ample amount of unnecessary indecency on day time television. Though shows and movies can still be restricted with security if there are children around, but I believe with time television will only get worse.

  6. Eric Gomez said

    The thing about having pixelation and/or “bleeping and blurring” in television is that no matter what program or television network this content is being broadcast in, everyone has their own personal take on it. Of course some may argue that parents shouldn’t allow their children to view these things in the first place, but in reality that is not the case. In other words, we don’t live in a perfect enough world to trust that all parents are responsible enough to filter what their children should or should not be watching even though some might think we all should. It only makes sense that content is being censored enough to “satisfy” all of the viewers which would mean that, in some cases, content may be a little too censored because like i said before, not all of us have the same opinion of what is taking it too far.

  7. Devan Mills said

    There does need to be regulations on network television and yes what people see as fit for tv and what is not changes from person to person. I believe network TV has become more liberal in what is ok and what is not over the last 10 years. I do agree with the article that save the beeping and blurring for after 10pm. But how much is too much the FCC does need to keep tabs on what is being aired and for the most part keep it family friendly. I believe that the Media has really push to make TV more liberal in what they air more things are being seen as acceptable, not just on tv but also radio and on the internet.

  8. Gianna Lisac said

    As the standards of television and programming constantly evolve, a new issue of indecency or level of appropriateness is frequently brought about. We see television programs whether they be sitcoms or reality shows that are constantly pushing the limits of what society views as acceptable content. On talk shows, topics that include sex and sexual health issues are openly discussed, and on soap operas, we are exposed to couples making love. Therefore, I can’t help but wonder which issue is of upmost importance. No matter what time of day it is, we can undoubtedly find a program on regular cable that presents information or situations that are unacceptable for immature audiences. This presents the question of who makes these rules and who decides what is appropriate and what is not. Is it okay for children to see people under the sheets carrying on their business, but not acceptable for an actress to be shown naked with a pixilated cover? This to me seems to be a skewed sense of judgment, and if so many viewers and “watch dog” groups are concerned over the issue, then maybe they should take a look at the entire industry and the content, as opposed to certain shows that present instances of nudity. If I were a parent, I would be more apt to let my child view a show with pixilation versus a show that simply skirts around the matter by keeping the characters covered with sheets during sex.

  9. Gianna Lisac said

    Also, if some take such offense to this, shouldn’t viewers (especially parents) be privy enough to monitor what their children are watching, and apt enough to change the station if they suspect it might be a problem?

  10. Leland Brian Johnson said

    I understand that we all come from different walks of life and therefore somethings are appropiate for some and inappropiate for others. That being said i think the FCC is way to strict on thier rulings, for instance most movies you see in theaters are some way croped or changed so that it then becomes “appropiate” for the T.V. audience. If someone can’t handle the content being shown then why are they even watching it the first place. Oh and by the way live T.V. is called live T.V. for a reason so there should be no reason to delay it.

  11. Dakota Charleston said

    I put the comment on Discussion board rather then this web page. I posted it on Sunday, September 16, 2012 11:41:46 PM MDT
    the The article that I read was “Bleeping and Blurring on Network TV” and it talked about how there are issues now with the content that is being shown today on Television. It is very hard for television networks to blur or bleep out such content that may be deemed inappropriate because of the many different backgrounds the audiences’ have. The American public, most of the time, does not agree on what is or isn’t indecent and this causes many problems for the TV networks that are just trying to produce and share their works of art. I think that it is somewhat unnecessary for the FCC to have TV networks set regulations on the shows that they produce. If a certain group of people deem the content inappropriate then it should not be so hard for them to just not tune in. Even if that group does not want their child to watch such a show then they should set rules in their own house hold. Everyone is entitled to what they want to like and not like. In our book it talks about the how ‘The Audience’ rules, so they have a lot of say in what should be seen as indecent on TV shows; this is because if they stop watching a certain program advertiser will not want to advertise on that network. I think that TV networks take that in consideration, but I feel that they shouldn’t have to because people should learn to have self control and dictate what they watch rather than what others watch.
    The article that I read was “Bleeping and Blurring on Network TV” and it talked about how there are issues now with the content that is being shown today on Television. It is very hard for television networks to blur or bleep out such content that may be deemed inappropriate because of the many different backgrounds the audiences’ have. The American public, most of the time, does not agree on what is or isn’t indecent and this causes many problems for the TV networks that are just trying to produce and share their works of art. I think that it is somewhat unnecessary for the FCC to have TV networks set regulations on the shows that they produce. If a certain group of people deem the content inappropriate then it should not be so hard for them to just not tune in. Even if that group does not want their child to watch such a show then they should set rules in their own house hold. Everyone is entitled to what they want to like and not like. In our book it talks about the how ‘The Audience’ rules, so they have a lot of say in what should be seen as indecent on TV shows; this is because if they stop watching a certain program advertiser will not want to advertise on that network. I think that TV networks take that in consideration, but I feel that they shouldn’t have to because people should learn to have self control and dictate what they watch rather than what others watch.

  12. The problem is the fact that there are no clear rules and no one can reach an agreement. Make a decision; is nudity allowed or is it not? Do pixelated images make it better? Personally I believe a parent should be in charge of making that decision and that all networks should be made to create a warning shot at the beginning of the show telling parents there might be nudity or foul language. That way a parent can make the decison whether they want their child to watch or not. Sure, accidents are going to happen, like what happened with Janet Jackson during the Superbowl. But if something like that happens then the consequences are on that specific person, the network had no idea it was going to happen so it was not their fault. These kinds of issues should be easy for the Supreme Court to solve; if there was no warning given on a prerecorded (nonlive) show that contains nudity or cussing then yes the network is to blame. If there is a warning than whatever that network chooses to be acceptable is acceptable.

  13. Rebekah McAnally said

    They bring up a good point when they talk about how the actors aren’t really naked in the clip but it makes the viewer think they are. What is so hard about keeping your clothes on in the first place? I don’t necessarily think people should get fined for doing it but there should be a line. Live TV is a little harder to monitor, like with Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl appearance. There was no way to stop that so the TV Company did the best they could. With pre-recorded shows they can stop it. I don’t watch shows to see nudity or hear foul language, and to be honest I don’t really like it. But do I turn the channel? No. That is a big reason why it is as acceptable today because people do nothing about it. Companies could care less if they are fined, as long as they still have viewers at the end of the show.

  14. Devan Mills said

    I believe there needs to be rules and guidelines for television shows. Yes a parent should also be in-charge of what their child is is watching on TV but it need to be kept family friendly. I understand that freedom of speech is an important part of living in the United States but every other world on national television does not need to be a curse word. We do not need to see naked people even if they are blurred out if someone needs these kinds of thrills go watch a movie where you have a choice to see it. The FCC does need to do a better job with their guidelines and make them very specific because the television companies are going to keep pushing the limit. The court rulings against these television companies I believe were settled correctly only because the FCC’s rules were not clear enough, if they are not going to write clear rules they can not expect for any of the broadcast companies to just be good people and not try to push the limit.

  15. Maya Rugg said

    The FCC needs to clarify what is indecent and what is acceptable. If they made more precise and clearer rules about bleeping and blurring nudity and foul language, less TV shows would get tried for breaking regulation guidelines. Either there should be absolutely no nudity or swearing on prerecorded TV or something that says how much is too much and what is acceptable. I believe that the rules should be the same for both basic and premium cable/satellite TV programming. Children can view nudity or hear foul language on both basic and premium cable/satellite TV. Who’s to say that the children will not come across the channels that present nudity and nudity on cable/satellite TV. Before the FCC fines another company for indecency of any kind they need to clarify the guidelines of what is indecent and whats acceptable.

  16. Kieren Duncan said

    I think part of the blame is on the programs that show these scenes on television yet don’t warn the parents or audience that mature material may show up in their program. However, I do believe that the network and shows should have some artistic license as to what they are allowed to show on television. Maybe focusing “on a nude woman’s buttocks for seven seconds in an episode of NYPD Blue” is necessary to the drama or plot of the story. No one is forcing these families to sit in front of the TV and watch the programs that could show nudity in the course of their episode. Viewers have a right to see the shows that they want to see, however they want to see them. If a household feels that a certain program is indecent or inappropriate to view, then they can make the decision to either not view it with children around or just not view it at all. But when the FCC gets involved telling the audience what is or isn’t appropriate for them to watch, they mess with the entertainment value of every household that’s watching those censored programs. Therefore, the FCC needs to draw a clear line between what’s entirely indecent or what just might offend a few people. If there is a viewer discretion advised label before the program and the nudity is somehow directly related to the dramatic essence of the show then the FCC should distance themselves from trying to protect a viewer audience who isn’t as sensitive as they are and leave the creative mind of the film/TV producer alone so the program can be seen exactly how it was intended to be seen.

  17. Jasmin French said

    In my opinion I feel as though the FCC should make their guidelines more clear, before ramdomly deciding on the spot what is indecent and unnacceptable for TV. I feel as though if more networks knew those boundaries for certain then they wouldnt create something that went against those rules. I also feel as though if theres MILD swearing and nudity in a show and a parent is okay allowing their kid to watch that show contrary to the content of the show then they already have a problem on their hands, they cant blame TV for having content in an adult targeted
    TV show that they are allowing their children to watch. Like in the Nudity, fleeting expletives, and lies article explained, the FCC shouldnt be able to come up with rules and guidelines as those rules and guidelines are being broken an/or crossed already. Also, not only is the FCC interfering with entertainment television, they are also interfering with their audiences source for entertainment.

  18. Noelle Clark said

    I feel that it is hard for the FCC to make regulations on everything regarding indecency and vulgarity in the media. Society is always changing their opinion on what is indecent for television; therefore, the policies would need to be always changing. This is seen through the Supreme Court’s cases of Fox I and Fox II. The first case called for more regulations while the second was more lenient on regulations for television. This could account for why there are so many more incidents of full frontal nudity in this current season. I feel that the television networks should only allow as much indecency as their audience can handle. Therefore, if the audience starts to complain that the show is being too indecent, they should back down to a level where there is no complains. Or, if people are not going to like the indecency they should invest in programs, such as CleanPlay software, so that they can still watch. One person’s complaint or dislike of indecency should not stop everyone else who is not offended.

  19. Zachary Zimmer said

    I believe that some of these shows on prime time television have the right to air material like this with pixelated nudity even though yes it does cross some lines and some moral grounds for some people. Under the First Amendment there really isn’t anything the FCC can do to fight cable channels on airing material like this. In the article Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies, the Supreme Court Ruled in favor of Fox and ABC stating that the FCC needs more clarified guidelines for cable channels and reporters to know what is considered indecent. Like I said before I believe that television shows have the right to air material like this because it is the free right to do so but it may cross some moral values in some families. Sure some families like to watch television together but there are more options than that one show that maybe deemed inappropriate for their kids to watch even with pixelation of a nude body. I believe there is no way to really regulate what is shown on television concerning this content without the First Amendment being brought into it unless the FCC really defines what is deemed indecent but still allows the television shows to voice and show what they want.

  20. Leland Brian Johnson said

    The FCC obviously needs to step up their lack of being on top of things. They need to be more clear on thier rules, because obviously people on T.V. are getting away with way to much, In the article Nudity, Fleeting, Expletives, and Lies it talks about how the FCC is just making things as incidents occur and something like that should not be a loud. They need to be more up front from the beggining what is acceptible and what is not.

  21. Kaitlyn Nehf said

    I believe that the argument about indecency and obscene language on TV is being made into a bigger deal than it actually is. In today’s generation, many parents are more accepting to their children watching these television programs that contain some obscene language as well as blurred out nudity. If these parents don’t want their children to see or hear those things then they need to reconsider the channels and shows they are allowing their children to watch. Just as the article “Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies” stated, the FCC needs more clear guidelines and regulations on what language they are allowed to air or how they should blur out nudity in their shows. Without clear rules and regulations, these television programs are going to keep airing what they personally feel is appropriate for the particular age group that would be watching these shows.

  22. Francesca Morrone said

    I believe that defense over indecency happens in the mind of the audience. In fact, i really think that its all about the mind. How you were raised, and what ethics you were taught have virtually everything to do with how you view certain things. If you were raised in a more conservative-based family, then chances are your tkae on what should and shouldn’t be allowed are greatly differentiated from one who was raised in a less conservative manner. I definately do think that there is a point when a certain amount of nudity shouldn’t be allowed on basic television, but then again there are ways to restrict what you don’t want your kids to watch. At the end of the day, society is not going to remove explicit words or nudity from television, radio, or any mass media that does at times porray these things. I personally am okay with that. Explicit words are man-made words and depending on your morals, they can be offensive, or just an add-on word to make your point a little better. As for nudity; lets be honest, we are in a day and age that has come a long way from how we were in the 1920’s. Overexposure may just be what some people need. And i mean that in the best way possible.

  23. Michael Rose said

    The offense over indecency happens somewhere in between the audience member and the word or image presented. Every person has the freedom of speech. However, with great power comes great responsibility. You have the right to say, do or show what you want as long as you are willing to suffer the consequence for inappropriate behavior. And indecency differs by the person. So ” celebrities can use fleeting expletives on television, at least until the FCC creates new guidelines clarifying what is indecent.”(Dee)

  24. Brianna Greer said

    I feel like pixalating tv shows is not a bad thing at all. Everything is covered all you see is stomach arms and legs. I think that if people have a problem with nuditty then they shouldn’t even watch the shows. All shows on television are rated and it tells why they are rated and what the show intells so it’s very easy to change the channel. However i do feel like bad language on tv should not be allowed unless they bleep them out. In the article Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies the FCC it expressed how the FCC should have more specific guildelines and i completely agree with that. Having specif guidelines would also eliminate alot of the arguments and debates going on about what should and shouldnt be allowed on tv.

  25. Michael Liptak said

    I’m one those people that think people are too sensitive when it comes to movies and Television. If someone cusses or if there’s nudity I don’t even think about it. I think that nudity and foul lounge are perfectly fine. A lot of it is just understanding the context. We’re in an era where comedy is more based off of foul language and sex than what is use to be. For example look at two shows like Family Guy vs Cheers, Family Guy is built on foul language and sexual humor, Cheers humor was straight up comedy and you rarely heard foul language. But I do agree there’s only so much language and nudity that should be on basic television but I see nothing wrong with full nudity if it’s blurred out or if it’s a butt like the incident from NYPD blue they brought up, there’s nothing scaring or anything with someone seeing a butt, that won’t hurt anybody. You know that old saying sex sells? That’s just the phase our generation is in now and it’s in full force.

  26. Sera Aksoy said

    I completely understand and agree with censorying network television. The audience of television is so extremely broad and needs to take into mind all of variety of their viewers. Blurring and beeping out aspects of a television show will yes, help networks avoid legal issues yet it leaves the audience with “fake” interpretations of the show. The range of people watching a show is so diverse, you have people with extreme religious backrounds or people who curse around their own young. While blocking certain content may upset some viewers, it must be done for the amount that wouldn’t be comfortable. I agree that no actual nuditty should be found on basic television shows, that must be monitored and I agree that blurring things not being an offensive thing. This gives the audience the capability to just fill in what their minds are assuming, which is a freedom we all do possess. The FCC does not take these things lightly. For example, I found within in the article Nudity, Fleeting Explectives and Lies that if, “A TV camera focuses on a nude woman’s buttocks for seven seconds in an episode of NYPD Blue. The FCC fines the ABC television network $1.24 million for indecency.” That is a large price to pay for what we can think is such a miniscule issue. That is why networks do need to continue their monitoring, there is a fine difference between the freedom of speech and then just plain indecency.

  27. I agree with censoring of certain things on television because in my opinion some televison shows are turning into garbage. For example, shows like Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant are ignorant shows. One because there is so much cursing it is nearly impossible to make out anything they’re saying. Another reason is because some of the pictures are so graphic and exposed that you almost don’t want to flip on the televison to watch this. Although some viewers are upset about this debate, I feel the majority aren’t okay with nudity being exposed and cursing to the point of disbelief. Like in the article “Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies,” I see a huge problem with focusing on a womans butt for seven seconds. All this does is tell the audience that this is okay and it disrespects the morals of women. I do belive the fine the FCC gave ABC television was appropiate and as a woman I feel good that someone isn’t just looking at women as pieces of meat but rather respecting their bodies.

  28. Rebekah Krech said

    I personally agree with censoring network television. In many cases, networks will pretty much film and make anything into a show that will draw attention and attract viewers. This may not be a positive thing due to the fact that in today’s society, what we find interesting is 16 and Pregnant and The Secret Life as well as The Jersey Shore and Degrassi The Next Generation. These television shows depict young teenagers having children, underage or inappropriate drinking, profanity, and other poor life style choices. Although some parents make the effort to block channels, it does not enforce what overall should be censored. Because of shows like these and parents being limited to how much they can censor shows themselves, I agree that nudity and profanity should be censored on all basic network shows. For instance, in the article “Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies,” states “At the Billboard Music Awards on the Fox Television Network, Cher, referring to her critics, says “So f*** ‘em.” Nicole Richie complains about “getting cow s*** out of a Prada purse,” saying that “it’s not so f**king simple.” Not only is the Billboard Music Awards something that many generations watch but this program depicts roll models and idols that young teens and adults look up too. I strongly agree with the FCC fining ABC television and FOX. Eventually, televisions such as ABC and FOX will understand that there is a fine for a reason for these actions and the networks should change how they present their shows to their audiences knowing that they broadcast their shows to all different age groups.

  29. Felix Cordova said

    I personally don’t like regulation of our speech, but when it comes to pixelated nudity, maybe we shouldn’t let our children’s imagination go to play. It’s true, there’s nothing against the use of pixelations that portray nudity, but our people are programmed for vulgarity and obscenity. The ones who are making toady’s TV shows and movies are the ones who come up with this stuff. They put so many bad things in our movies and TV shows that people don’t even know when they are watching something inappropriate. The article about the first amendment cases points out that putting regulations on what you can put on television just pushed people to make things reference even worse things. Instead of faking a situation, they could just simply describe what happened with speech. It’s hard to choose who to blame, but I don’t think it’s the directors or the audience, I blame the people who regulate television. People should have common morality when it comes to deciding what goes on television, but of course they want to make things more complicated than they have to be. I think there should be less government in the regulations of our speech and it’s up to the people to teach good morals to our children. This way we would have less obscenity in our shows and more molars, oops I mean morals in our children.

  30. Kyra Williams said

    I believe that there should be censorship on TV shows, just out of sheer respect for viewers. There is always going to be, people who disagree on this topic, but it’s finding the line in between it all. When taking in consideration of who you the target audience is that should tell you what kind of language and indecency you put in the show. But just like the other article I believe that the FCC should probably have very clear rules about what they want. And I say this because they have to look at how writers are going to go around the rules, clearer laws, makes it harder to get out of. I don’t think that indecent exposure is necessary in shows for effect. But it is just about finding the line in between it all.

  31. Taylor Fox said

    When it comes to censoring nudity and profanities, I’m a huge proponent of it. Television should not be promoting an audience towards this kind of behavior. According to an article I read, entitled, “Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies” a TV camera focused on a nude woman’s “butt” for seven seconds in an episode of ‘NYPD Blue’. What does showing this kind of nudity do for society? What does swearing teach or educate? Personally, I believe nothing. FCC needs tighter and regulated rules with strict guidelines. Leaving this kind of behavior up in the air will only allow it to continually occur. Because FCC does not set up these strict guidelines, television companies constantly get away with airing such actions. Until these rules are made and enforced there is not much that can be done, unfortunately. I was raised by parents who did not allow me to watch PG-13 movies until the day I turned thirteen. To this day, I try not to watch movies that I know will be detrimental to my beliefs and morals. Strict guidelines should be set for appropriate age groups. Censoring disturbing images and behavior should be in place, especially on channels like ABC.

  32. Tyler Shown said

    In the end, there is always ways to get around censorship. As stated in the article if you can’t find it on TV, you can find it on the internet. However, censorship does leave us with that warm feeling that we can still have kids watch TV with no worries of explicit cussing or nudity. On the other hand, as the article “Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies” discusses, the FCC is having trouble deciding what counts as explicit. I agree with the article on this one; simply bleeping out cuss words or blurring nudity makes the viewer think the worst and the FCC needs to make it clear what they see as indecent. In conclusion indecency is created by the program and the viewer; we interpret what we see and imagine what we don’t.

  33. Jeremy Leger said

    Since the FCC is not very specific as to what is considered “decent,” it is difficult for them to regulate what gets put on television and what crosses the line. Television series showing pixelated nudity need to be mindful of the audience that is going to view the programming. The big networks like NBC, ABC, and CBS should be responsible enough to not show as much suggestive material because their audience includes many people, including young children or people that will take offense to seeing nudity or something that suggests something sexual. The same deal applies to bad language. If it could be considered offensive to hear certain words at certain times of the day, networks should know not to air programs that use such language. I think it is even harder to regulate what the television says as opposed to what it shows. If a character says a word that should not be said around young children, it is harder to avoid because it has already been said. If a character for whatever reason decides to be nude, the parents can at least have time to react and change the channel or have the children look away from the television. For example, in the article “Nudity, Fleeting Expletives and Lies,” it mentions the notorious Super Bowl fiasco where Janet Jackson’s breast was exposed. It also mentioned how Nicole Richie used vulgar language at an inappropriate time. During the Super Bowl mishap, many parents averted their children’s eyes from the television so they know that it is indecent to show certain parts of your body on television. So, if the FCC regulates what gets on air better, then everybody will have a better understanding of right and wrong.

  34. Alexis Clark said

    Sixty years ago, the writers the 1952 season of the television show “I Love Lucy,” faced a slight challenge. They were constantly required to have a thesaurus close at hand; Lucy was “with child,” or “having a baby,” or “expecting,” but she was never “pregnant.” The word pregnant wasn’t allowed on television in 1952. In strong contrast, only about 35 years later, a Supreme Court decision (Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation 1978) ruled that George Carlin’s skit “Seven Dirty Words” was indecent, but “not obscene.” I’ll leave the Google-ing up to you, but those seven dirty words are, in fact, very offensive, and in my opinion, quite obscene. Presently, in 2013, another mere 35 years later, as Dr. Ebersole mentioned, we often see pixelated flesh colored undergarments that are basically pretending to be full frontal nudity and causing audiences to think that there is something hidden there that really isn’t. Marshall McLuhan, a big name in the development of Mass Communications, was quoted saying, “It is impossible to understand social and cultural changes without a knowledge of the working of the media.” In Mass Comm. 101, we talked about how mass media is capable of debasing the value of the finer things. Dr. Ebersole used McDonald’s as an example and explained how it lowers our value for fine cuisine. This brings us back to what Marshall McLuhan said about the influence of the media on social changes, these conclusions about media’s influence bring us to a few open ended questions about society: More specifically, using Dr. Ebersole’s mention of McDonald’s as an example; is this media-driven influence to eat fast food possibly part of reason for the growing obesity problem in the United States? This question may be easier to answer than other more general questions that arise. Could the media’s influence be part of the reason that the United States is so unpopular with the rest of the world? 35 years ago the United States Government ruled that the words that are mentioned in Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words” are indeed allowed to be broadcasted to the public. Could this be part of the reason that the younger generations (for the most part) seem to have a lack respect for others? The influence of mass media on the public has been debated for decades: From whether or not violent video games caused the number of school shootings to rise, to the more controversial view that the government is trying to influence our thoughts through what they let us see and her through the media, from experts to conspiracy theorists, people all over the world have tried to heed McLuhan’s advice to try to figure out the workings of the media in order to then understand the dynamics of the social and cultural changes that are happening over time.

  35. Kylie Milusnic said

    If we completely take away the rights to show what we want to show on prime time TV then we are basically going to become communists. While I don’t wholly agree with the libertarian modal that Turow talks about on page 73 I still think that the government shouldn’t be able to fully control what is broadcasted. “The marketplace of ideas is the belief that any free-flowing media system, individuals will be able to make their own decisions about what is true and what is false because media competition will allow different opinions to emerge and struggle for public approval and in the end the true opinion but went out.” It is impossible to make everyone happy, but I think that if there is a simple rating system that shows the rating before the program in question is aired that it will allow parents to remove their child from the room or change the channel before anything that is considered “inappropriate” is shown.

  36. Ronell McNeal said

    I understand that people want to make sure kids are not able to see things that they shouldn’t and im all for that but parents need to take more action into making sure that the kids arent on tv uncensored. There are alot of things that can be taken as inappropriate. As far as irt goes for adults complaining just because they dont like the show because there is nudity then either change the channel or dont watch tv at all becaue every show is rated and almost every show at some point in time will have some form of nudity in it. Prime time tv is something that attracts alot of people and makes alot of money, hints why it is called prime time. Reality tv is almost as bad as shows that may show nudity because most reality show are about drama and for some reason the people love to see other peoples drama. Some say its to put themselves in the situation others must just like it i guess. “These situations and the bonding experiences and altercations they create play out naturally in front of the camera, on almost a 24/7 basis.” If anything come to some sort of conclusion so that people can watch that they want and kids and others that dont want to see it wont come up on it. The creation of Netflex and on demand has given the viewers a choice on how they want to spend there time. “Audience demand has never been stronger for the stories the film and television tell so well” (mass media revolution 188).

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