FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
March 18, 2004
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
Janice Wise at (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C.: The Federal Communications Commission today issued an Order concluding that the live broadcast of the phrase f***ing brilliant, spoken by Bono of U2 during the 2003 Golden Globe Awards, violated the statutory prohibitions on indecency and profanity.
The Commission granted an Application for Review filed by the Parents Television Council (PTC) of an earlier Enforcement Bureau decision concerning the Golden Globes Award broadcast by the National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (NBC). That decision ruled that the broadcast had not violated the indecency prohibition because Bono's use of the F-word had been fleeting and in a non-sexual context. The Commission overruled the Bureau decision and also concluded that other cases holding that isolated or fleeting use of the F-word are not indecent are no longer good law. The Commission further concluded that use of the F-Word in the context of the Golden Globe Awards was profane under 18 U.S.C. Section 1464.
Finally, the Commission emphasized that all broadcast licensees are on clear notice that similar broadcasts in the future will lead to forfeitures and potential license revocation, if appropriate.
Action by the Commission on March 3, 2004, by Memorandum Opinion and Order, FCC 04-43. Chairman Powell and Commissioners Abernathy and Adelstein issuing separate statements; Commissioners Copps and Martin approving in part, dissenting in part and issuing separate statements.
Enforcement Bureau Contacts: Janice Wise and Lisa Fowlkes at (202) 418-7450.