FCC Trims FOX's 'Married by America' Fines!
Post by: Sal
Although the Federal Communications Commission has found that FOX's "Married by America" violated indecency laws, the FCC has somewhat mitigated the fines against the network.
In an order issued Friday (Feb. 22), the FCC asked 13 FOX stations and affiliates to pay $7,000 apiece in fines stemming from complaints about the notorious April 7, 2003 episode of "Married by America."
The episode hinged on the bachelor and bachelorette parties preceding the show's eventual attempts at marriage. The episode featured strippers who were covered only by whipped cream or pixels, which wasn't enough, according to the FCC finding.
"To be sure, the pixilation of the female strippers' naked breasts and buttocks does render the material less explicit and graphic than it would have been in the absence of pixilation," says the FCC's rather naughty statement. "However, the material is still sufficiently graphic and explicit to support an indecency finding. As discussed above, the party scenes were graphic in their depictions of strippers luring partygoers into engaging in sexual behavior. For example, they included the thrusting of a male stripper's crotch into a woman's face, a topless female stripper performing a lap dance for one of the grooms-to-be, a topless female stripper spanking with a whip or a belt the buttocks of a topless man who is on all fours, and a female stripper cupping her own bare breasts and puckering her lips. The fact that isolated body parts were 'pixilated' did not obscure the overall graphic character of the depiction."
It could have been worse, though.
The original indecency fine proposed against FOX had been roughly $1.2 million, but rather than ordering all 169 FOX stations to pay into the pot, the FCC ruled that only stations receiving complaints would be fined.
The fined FOX affiliates included stations in Detroit, Minneapolis, Tampa, Kansas City, Des Moines, Charleston, Nashville and Washington, D.C.
The FCC ruling beat out the five year statute of limitations on indecency enforcement.
This is the FCC's second under-the-wire fine of the year. A selection of 45 ABC stations were recently fined $1.24 million stemming from complaints about partial nudity in a 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue."