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Should There Be Rules on Profanity and Nudity in Primetime Television?

Posted by on Jun. 22, 2012 at 9:38 AM
  • 8 Replies

New Rules About Nudity & Profanity on TV Mean Moms Need a New 'Babysitter'

Posted by Adriana Velez

kid televisionHey parents, remember when actress Charlotte Ross' buns got their seven seconds of fame on NYPD Blue? And when Cher and Nicole Ritchie blurted out curse words at live awards shows? Well it's official: They got away with it. The Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the FCC to fine broadcasters for those fleeting moments of nudity and profanity.

But that was then and this is now. The Supreme Court did NOT rule on whether it's okay to fine broadcasters for nudity and profanity in the future. They said the FCC could make new rules about that, you know, whenever. Which brings me to this question: What are parents supposed to do in the meantime?

Just to be clear, the Supreme Court's ruling had nothing to do with parenting or morality. This comes down to a technicality -- something to do with the FCC not giving networks enough notice before fining them ... bla bla bla.

Anyway, now it's an open question. The FCC can make new rules about brief profanity and nudity during prime time. But some folks say that's just more government intrusion. Like, why can't parents just not let their kids watch the bad stuff, or something. It's your responsibility!

ORLLY? Let's imagine a world where broadcasters are allowed to do whatever the hell they want.

Your kids go to bed at 8:00. You turn on your grown-up TV show. Your 3-year-old can't sleep and sneaks into the living room just as someone streaks across your screen in their birthday suit.

Or: You let your 8-year-old Gleek stay up to watch the Emmys. Darren Criss lets loose an F-bomb.

Or: A real-life example, that time before cable TV was regulated and my young siblings and I stumbled upon full-frontal strip tease at 2:00 in the afternoon. Yes, that happened. No, our parents never found out. Yes, we were kind of freaked out to learn grown-ups take off their clothes for each other just for fun.

So now you have to have one of those conversations with your kid. And you find yourself saying, "I know I said that word, too, last Friday, and I shouldn't have." Or you say, "Well, the human body is beautiful, but in our family, we kind of like to keep our private parts to ourselves because, um ... (???)"

Ugh. You know what? I know times are changing. And I don't want to go back to the days of Leave It to Beaver. But I am also not so desperate for one of those "I'm the Only Person Responsible for Raising This Child" medals of honor that I can't appreciate a little bit of help from the FCC. I mean, rules need to be clear and a little more liberal. But I'd still like there to be at least some baseline of acceptability on prime time television.


Should the FCC have rules on profanity and nudity for prime time television?

What should those rules be?

Do you monitor what your child watches on television?

by on Jun. 22, 2012 at 9:38 AM
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Replies (1-8):
Barabell
by Barbara on Jun. 22, 2012 at 1:42 PM

When my son was 4, 5, 6, 7, I didn't care for the amount of casual sex that was happening in prime time TV shows, and so I just stopped watching them. I just didn't want him to think that was the norm or start to ask questions before he was ready to have more in-depth talks about sex and adult relationships.

Now that my son is a little older, I could care less. We've taught our son morals, and I would hope that we're a bigger influence to him than an actor dropping the F-bomb at an awards show.

Reina13
by Member on Jun. 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

We do not watch a lot of television, but when we do, I make sure it is appropriate for him first. Show descriptions are pretty accurate as far as objectionable content, so it is easy for me to monitor what isnt  and is age appropriate.

fineyouguyswin
by on Jun. 23, 2012 at 10:08 AM

I think there should be basic rules but really I think the parents should jsut monitor their children.

psych_mom
by Stacy on Jun. 23, 2012 at 12:18 PM
We don't have cable or any basic tv. I do think that there should be some monitoring because most parents don't want to have to deal with those what if scenarios.
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girlsclubmom
by Member on Jun. 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

When I was a kid we would watch tv as a family .. as long as it was prime time, my parents knew it was "safe".I wish we would get back to those days. so know I censor a lot and we watch TLC and cooking shows and kid appropriate shows.

kintop
by on Jun. 24, 2012 at 1:50 PM
1 mom liked this

What about the profanity they hear on the bus and at school?  You can't control that.  What words bother you the most?

kmrtigger
by Kandice on Jun. 24, 2012 at 10:25 PM

This is how we handled things in our home.

Quoting Barabell:

When my son was 4, 5, 6, 7, I didn't care for the amount of casual sex that was happening in prime time TV shows, and so I just stopped watching them. I just didn't want him to think that was the norm or start to ask questions before he was ready to have more in-depth talks about sex and adult relationships.

Now that my son is a little older, I could care less. We've taught our son morals, and I would hope that we're a bigger influence to him than an actor dropping the F-bomb at an awards show.


Barabell
by Barbara on Jun. 25, 2012 at 10:30 AM


Quoting kintop:

What about the profanity they hear on the bus and at school?  You can't control that.  What words bother you the most?

Exactly. Kids are going to hear it other places than just on TV. I teach my child respect and morals, not the TV and not the kids at the bus stop.

Also, if you don't like what you're seeing on TV--turn it off. Turning it off is the most powerful tool we have. If the rating go down, the show will no longer be aired.

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