The Playgoer: FCC & PBS

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Thursday, June 29, 2006


The new FCC anti-naughtiness campaign is definitely taking its toll. It's not just commercial networks afraid of more Janet Jackson moments. Even PBS is quaking in its boots, and ready to bleep out (and more) anything gritty from even their finest programming.

In shows that air before 10 p.m., compound words that are part obscenity, which used to be only partially bleeped, now must be bleeped in full. And if it's still possible to discern the word by reading a person's lips, his mouth must be digitally blurred.

The concern now is for its edgier documentary films. Ken Burns, too, is worried. But obviously this could further impede PBS's already diminishing interest in airing contemporary (or post-1970) drama.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny how this works; in some ways, depending on where you go, this use of strong language is actually getting more common. On Denis Leary's FX drama "Rescue Me," for example, a basic-cable show pushes the envelope about as far as it can go when it comes to language. Of course, nobody watches it. But perhaps that's why the FCC doesn't seem interested in closing it down.