FCC's Martin Responds To Nipple-Gate Ruling
July 22, 2008 at 5:36 AM (PT)
The FCC was dealt a big setback MONDAY (NET NEWS 7/21), as a federal appeals court tossed out a $550,000 fine against CBS for the JANET JACKSON "wardrobe malfunction" that bared her breast during the 2004 SUPER BOWL halftime show with JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE. The panel ruled that the FCC "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in issuing the fine for the fleeting image of nudity.
FCC Commissioner KEVIN MARTIN issued this statement regarding the ruling:
"Today the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the JANET JACKSON incident during the SUPER BOWL Halftime show was not indecent and declared that the FCC was wrong to fine CBS for the broadcast.
I am surprised by today’s decision and disappointed for families and parents.
The SUPER BOWL is one of the most watched shows on television, aired during the hours when children are most likely to be in the audience.
Hundreds of thousands of people complained about the show, and a unanimous Commission found that it was inappropriate for broadcast television.
In fact, following this incident, Congress said we should be assessing greater fines -- as much as 10 times the amount we actually fined CBS -- for incidents like these in the future.
I continue to believe that this incident was inappropriate, and this only highlights the importance of the Supreme Court’s consideration of our indecency rules this FALL."