The website Government Attic has posted a treasure trove of indecency complaints the FCC received in the last five years about “Saturday Night Live.” The reasons are about what you’d expect — words or ideas the viewer was offended by — with spelling and grammar mistakes galore. For example:
The show was a re-run hosted by Will Ferrel and contained a skit with Usher, Justin Bieber, Justin Timberwolf, etc. It was the most graphic and vulgar display I have ever witnessed on Public TV. NBC should not only be ashamed of the content, but should be held accountable to any violations committed. If this kind of garbage is allowed by the FCC, then shame on you for contributing to the downfall of common decency and respect.
I’m always amazed that someone would be so incensed by a simple television (or radio) broadcast that they’d stop what they were doing and take the time to file a formal complaint with anyone. I’m also amazed how ignorant these viewers are of the fact that the FCC has no authority over NBC’s broadcasts of “Saturday Night Live,” because it airs in the Safe Harbor hours, which are explained on the commission’s website:
Congress and the courts have instructed the Commission only to enforce the indecency standard between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., local time. — when children are more likely to be in the audience. As a consequence, the Commission does not take action on indecent material aired between 10 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. In this way, constitutionally-protected free speech rights of adults are balanced with the need to protect children from harmful content.
As a parent, I’ve never needed a Nanny Government to protect my child from anything on television or radio, nor to keep my adult eyes and ears free of material that might be offensive to my sensitive nature. And I’d bet (yet again) that many of those complaining to the FCC are the same folks who claim they want government to do less, except when they’re bothered by something or someone.
I don’t typically watch SNL because of it’s offensive material. In this instance, we had company over and it happened to be on. Unfortunatley, our 2 children were also in the room. They had a spoof of Clint Eastwood’s Superbowl commercial for Chrysler. In the spoof the ‘Clint Eastwood’ character was talking about the presidential candidates and clearly said the word ‘pus*y’ in the clip. I was taken aback at the crude and offensive remark especially on REGULAR TV, not cable. I hope the FCC can start taking back the airwaves and bring back just plain common decency.
Well, that’s some damned fine monitoring of what’s on the TV while your children are in the room. You’re already offended by the show, but you don’t turn it off? Sorry, your fault. And by the way, the word “pussy” isn’t banned from the airwaves, even outside the Safe Harbor hours.
Another (with original punctuation and case):
under the sea skit depicting Osama Bin Laden floating in the sea. Shocking and inappropriate. totally tasteless and upsetting. unAmerican. will boycott advertisers.
That will probably shut the show down. Meanwhile, the network appreciates you watching all the way through so you can make a list of all the advertisers you’re going to stop doing business with. Do you have any idea how many viewers have threatened to boycott “Saturday Night Live” in its 38 years on the air?
And then there’s my favorite comment from a complainer to the FCC:
Lome Greene ought to be ashamed of what he has allowed his show to deteriorate into.
Government Attic acquired the complaints from the FCC through a Freedom Of Information Act request. You can browse through them here.