PTC Seeks Complaints Against 'Family Guy'

The Parents Television Council has asked its members to file indecency complaints against Fox's Family Guy over the Feb. 8 episode.

PTC is targeting the entire episode, but also a particular scene involving the character Quagmire's trial for statutory rape.

The scene did not use any of the words George Carlin made famous, but did include a joke about a sex act involving a frozen condom, and what was in it, that PTC says crossed the line. The act was called a "frosty Jim," whose coining the Urban Dictionary was already ascribing to that Feb. 8 Family Guy episode.

More broadly, PTC said, joking about statutory rape "exceeds the community standards for decency."

"We urge our members, as well as other Americans who agree that the broadcast was legally indecent, to file formal indecency complaints with the FCC,” said PTC president Tim Winter in a statement.

PTC pointed out that more than a decade ago, WKRK-FM was hit with a then FCC maximum $27,500 indecency fine for explicit descriptions of "aberrant sexual content," and put the Family Guy episode in the same category.

The last time PTC asked members to file an indecency complaint was in June 2014 over CBS’ Reckless. By PTC's count this will be the sixth time PTC has called for complaints against Family Guy. The FCC has not taken action on any of those complaints.

Fox had no comment on the complaint threat or the episode.

John Eggerton

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.