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PTC Files Profanity Complaints

The Parents Television Council Thursday filed indecency complaints against programming that aired on My Network TV and NBC over profanities--actually it called them "illegal obscenities"--it claims aired on the networks before 10 p.m.

The NBC infraction was the use of the word "tits" on ER, and "shit" on My Network TV's telenovella, Desire. PTC can complain about ER because even though its airs on the East and West Coasts in the 10 p.m.-6 a.m. safe harbor for indecency, it airs at 9 p.m. in the Mountain time zone. Desire airs at 8 p.m. EST.

The FCC is currently rethinking several profanity findings after it asked a court to let it do so. During that time--it has to reply by Nov. 6--it is not expected to come out with any profanity-related decisions, but the FCC has also indicated broadcasters don't have a free pass to swear, either.

PTC points out that the swearing was in scripted shows rather than the inadvertent cussing that sometimes slips through on a NASCAR or NFL telecast. PTC's Dan Isett also says the V-chip would not have blocked the broadcasts because their TV-14 ratings did not contain the "L' language descriptor.

PTC filed the complaints against Washington's My Network TV affiliate WDCA. The complaint against ER came from the Central/Mountain time zone, but PTC did not have the call letters immediately available.

Neither NBC nor MyNetworkTV had any comment.