Skip to main content

PTC Urges Court To Uphold 'NYPD Blue' Fine

The Parents Television Council has asked the Second U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold its indecency fine for a 2003 episode of
ABC's former drama staple, NYPD Blue.

"This case is distinct from Fox v. FCC in that there is
nothing fleeting or accidental about it. ABC chose to air a scripted visual
depiction of a fully-naked woman from behind before 10 p.m.," said PTC.
"The camera ogles her up and down with saucy music playing in the
background and a child looking on. Later in the show, the adult characters joke
about the boy's reaction to seeing the woman naked...We urge the Court to hold
ABC accountable for the content it chose to air, knowing it violated TV decency

The court last month asked for supplemental briefs in thecase--due Aug. 23--wanting to know what the impact on the case is, if any,
of the same court's recent decision in the Fox case that the FCC's fleeting
profanity policy is unconstitutionally vague and chilling.

In January 2008, the commission issued a proposed fine totaling
almost $1.4 million against 52 ABC affiliates for airing a Feb. 25, 2003,
episode of NYPD Blue that included
"adult female nudity," specifically a "small portion of one side
of her breasts" and a side view of her buttocks, the FCC said, and another
scene of her naked from the back. Rather than the fleeting nudity and profanity
decisions challenged in court, the FCC said the scene "dwelled" on
the nudity and was "lingering," as well as "shocking and
titillating." ABC challenged the fine in court.