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Creative Voices Speak Out on Indecency

One group representing the creative community has weighed in strongly against the FCC's raft of TV indecency actions.

Jonathan Rintels, executive director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media, released a statement late Wednesday saying that the decisions "put creative, challenging, controversial, non-homogenized broadcast television programming at risk."

The FCC Wednesday found 10 TV programs indecent, fining six of them, and not fining the rest because the violations--all for course language--occurred before its March 18, 2004, indecency finding against the f-word, which put stations on notice that the FCC was starting to crack down on sexual or excretory language.

“These decisions illustrate the significant problems with the commission’s enforcement of its indecency rules," said Rintels. "They are vague, arbitrary, insufficiently attuned to the context and quality of the program, and bear no relation to 'contemporary community standards,' as the commission’s own rules require. They substitute the commissioners’ creative and artistic choices for those made by media artists. And they will undoubtedly result in increasing amounts of self-censorship of protected speech by media artists and broadcasters."

The Center is a nonprofit group advocating for the independent creative community in Washington. Its members include Warren Beatty, kids-TV activist Peggy Charren, Vin Di Bona, creator and producer of America's Funniest Home Videos (whose show was found not to be indecent in one of the FCC's complaint denials Wednesday), Blake Edwards, Diane English and Tom Fontana.