The naked truth about nudity on TV

Friday, August 24, 2012
Russ Jones (

A group that advocates for responsible entertainment has written a letter to Congress, expressing concern about a new study that documents the shocking rise of nudity on primetime broadcast television in the 2011-2012 season.

The Parents Television Council (PTC) reports the 2011-2012 season featured 76 incidents of full nudity on 37 shows, compared to 15 incidents in 14 shows the previous year. That is a 407 percent increase in one year. (See PTC study )

Isett, Dan (PTC)In response, PTC has sent a letter to congressional members, asking them to urge the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move forward with clearing a backlog of some 1.6 million indecency complaints.

"In some of these situations, they may actually be violations of federal broadcast decency law, which, as we know, was upheld by the Supreme Court as recently as just a couple of months ago," notes Dan Isett, director of public policy for the PTC. "The FCC does have a huge backlog of indecency complaints that it must deal with, and some of these instances that we cite in our report are certainly among those outstanding complaints."

Meanwhile, he points out that advertisers play a major role in getting networks to stop producing such programing.

"They're the ones who ultimately write the checks and produce the money that funds all of this material, and they have the most important role to play in what actually gets produced," Isett asserts. "Do they want their corporate brands associated with things as risqué and damaging to children as nudity or pixilated nudity in this case?"

Relative to full-frontal nudity, just one instance occurred during the 2010-2011 study period. But by the same time the following year, 64 instances of full-frontal nudity had aired. PTC figures that represents a 6,300 percent increase of full-frontal nudity on primetime TV in just one year.

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