PTC Outraged Over ‘Family Guy' Episode

The Parents Television Council said Tuesday it is urging its members to file a complaint at the FCC over Sunday's (March 8) episode of Family Guy.

"Family Guy is squarely aimed at young viewers and is never lacking in crude humor and explicit content, but this episode crossed the line," said Tim Winter. "Imagine the shock of a family who stumbled across the show during the Sunday evening programming block, as early as 8 p.m. in the Central and Mountain Time zones. Fox treated viewers to everything from an ‘eleven-way' gay orgy to baby Stewie eating a bowl of cereal with horse sperm instead of milk."

While PTC regularly cites shows it has issues with, it has not called on members to complain to the FCC since last fall, said PTC director of public policy Dan Isett. PTC also said that a PTC member would personally contact every advertiser in the show.

PTC complaints against the Janet Jackson halftime reveal helped prompt the FCC's content crackdown, but the commission's indecency enforcement regime was called into question by various court rulings including the Supreme Court's current consideration of the FCC's indecency finding against Fox stations for swearing on Billboard Awards broadcasts in 2002 and 2003.

Family Guy has historically pushed the envelope in its skewering of culture, convention and just about everything else, including tweaking the PTC-backed FCC indecency crackdown in an episode that featured "The Freakin FCC" production number.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.