This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Yeah, people are mostly crap."
11981 members | you are not logged in | 23 April 2018


February 25 2005

Angel episode not indecent according to the FCC.

Good news, if not so much with the timeliness.

From the article:

A love scene from the canceled TV show "Angel" that showed a female character turning into a vampire and biting her partner's neck did not overstep federal indecency rules, the Federal Communications Commission ruled Friday.

It was one of two scenes from a November 2003 episode of "Angel" that were not "sufficiently graphic or explicit to render the program patently offensive" by contemporary standards, the FCC said in denying an indecency complaint from the Parents Television Council.

The episode was "Destiny," by the way, and it got some good attention here and elsewhere.

[ edited by ksb on 2005-02-25 23:33 ]
Firstly, i'm glad to see that someone at the FCC has a little bit of sense as there is much worse out there, even on Angel. But, this shouldn't have even been brought up in the first place. Ever since the "Super Bowl Incident" the FCC has decided they have more power and authority than they should and because of the political climate in the US, no one will call them on it. Finally I'm just gonna say what has been said in the past; Parents, if you don't want your child watching something, change the channel, don't get the government to do it for you. {Political rant over}
"Finally I'm just gonna say what has been said in the past; Parents, if you don't want your child watching something, change the channel, don't get the government to do it for you. {Political rant over}"

I agree 100% with your assessment. I cannot remember any objectionable episodes,or one that would preclude very young viewers from watching. Angel was a show that, I believe, would be good family viewing. If anything, it could provoke questions from younger viewers concerning the grand theme of redemption.
That scene wasn't indecent. It was funny as hell. Now, let's go have a nooner.
which episode was this? Or, I mean...which one of all the ones it could be?!
And why didn't they complain about all the blatant sex on BtVS..
I mean in S4 Buffy was screwing Riley blind...
and in S6 Buffy and Spike were going at it like bunnies, up against the wall, in public places...
lots of 'hip movement' there!
Embers, they have complained about Buffy/Spike:

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rejected a complaint by the Parents Television Council (PTC) that an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer contained indecent material.

The episode in question - aired on 20 November 2001 - "included a scene in which the characters Buffy and Spike engage in sexual intercourse". The complainants claimed this to be indecent.

And why didn't they complain about all the blatant sex on BtVS

They did complain and those complaints were thrown out too. Keep in mind, this isn't the FCC complaining, it's them responding to complaints most of which are coming from one group, the Parents Television Council, which apparently complains about everything.
So one wonders where they find the time to actually parent? All that time spent complaining could probably be better spent with their kids. (Or maybe the kids are happier with their distracted parents?)
One scene involved Angel in an intimate moment with a female character in which Angel's hips are seen "moving back and forth," the Parents Television Council said in its complaint.

Oh no! Not hip movement and heavy breathing! Hide the children! Or better yet, change the channel.

[ edited by spitefairy on 2005-02-26 00:43 ]
It's depressing to think that we're members of the same species as these whining parents claim to be.

... My bipedal ancestor is better than THEIR bipedal ancestor!
Huh? I never saw Angel as a show for children. In Germany the DVDs and Videos are for audiences age 16+ . If I was a parent I sure as hell wouldn't let my 8 year olds watch Angel. With or without indecent movement of David's hips ;-) After all there's also killing and dismemberment and fighting and and...
Why wasn't I allowed to watch TV till 10 pm when I was a child?
Well personally i have no problem with letting my seven year old nephew watch Angel (or Buffy for that matter), there is nothing on the show that i find offensive or unsuitable for him. Quite the opposite in fact.

Both shows have always been shining examples of what kids should be watching these days. The characters, both Scoobies and Fang Gang, whilst far from perfect, are people who do what they can to make the world a better place. They may not always succeed but the fact is that they spend their lives trying to do the right thing, for better or for worse. Quite honestly i can't think of any better role models for kids to have these days than the likes of Buffy, Angel and the rest.

Having said that, i've always identified with Spike so maybe i'm not the best to judge! ;)
Do they also realize that said law about the 6am-10pm content did not go into effect until 2004. I was not aware the law was retroactive.
Which three letter organization do we report to in order to complain about the indecency of the Parents Television Council?

We've actually come quite a long way. In the days of I Love Lucy, it was only acceptable to show a married couple's bedroom on television if they had two separate beds. In movies around that time, the censors insisted on crazy limitations like the ingenues keeping one foot on the floor during a love scene in bed. I suppose if we didn't have censors, there would be filmmakers out there who might go to incredible extremes regarding issues of fornication and defecation. If you don't believe me, I would link to "tubgirl" and "goatse" images to prove my point, but instead I'll let the more curious of you (over the age of 18 I'd recommend) look into that yourselves if you don't already know what I mean. If left to their own devices, the anti-censor types would go crazy.

There are extremists on both sides of the issue, hence the use of the word "extremist." Most of us fall somewhere in between. Most of us wish these extremists would quit fighting amongst one another. However, much as I hate groups like the Parents Television Council, I also hate things like tubgirl and goatse. So if these extremists fight with one another enough, maybe they'll eventually kill each other and leave the rest of us in peace.
When I was a kid my parents made me go to sleep at 8 pm and I only watched the children channels(after doing my homework). They never had to complain to the FCC, cause they moderated what I watched. But they didn't shelter me from everything either, I have the fondest memory of my dad taking me to see Terminator 2 on my birthday and that was back in 1991.
My parents allowed me to police my own viewing habits. I remember watching RoboCop around age 8, and Hellraiser around the same time. When stuff got too freaky for me, I just left the room or went and got a book and read that instead.

My mom was more likely to police the fiction I was reading than tv or movies. If I saw or read something that I had questions about, she was always there to explain things to me very franky. And if she didn't know the answer, we'd go look it up together. I think that openess from a very young age is what has given me the ability to critically think about things and form my own opinions as an adult. I wish people would stop freaking out and start talking to their children. Kids see things more indecent that hip grinding and heavy breathing every day in real life, and without parents there to talk to, who are they going to get their information from?

Then again, I was kind of a weird kid who got way more into books than into tv, because the printed word has always had more power over me than something on a screen. So what do I know?
Wow - Hellraiser at 8? It kind of bothers me at age 45!

I don't understand all the complaints about "sex" scenes, actually if anything I would think they would be complaining about the violence. Guess they complain about that too since they seem to complain about everything.

I know the blood is toned down on Angel (and Buffy) but whenever I watch Conviction and Angel kicks the gun and the leader of the WR&H Wet Works team shoots his own head off I think - wow that's pretty graphicly violent and I'm amazed they got it on TV. I think that moment is way more disturbing than the Harmony biting Spike moment.
Here are a couple of related links:

Tghe FCC memorandum order and opinion

Then there's the Parents' TV Council page about Angel: "Frequent offensive language includes “bitch,” “ass,” and “piss,” as well as euphemisms for ‘f—k.’"
oh thanks for that link drewfidelic I haven't laughed so much in weeks .The whole "Mr Spanky" scene is quoted... I tell you if I wasn't already a fan I'd be out buying the DVD's and checking for repeats .
"The language is also very harsh on this program, as “bleeps” are scripted into the program. In one episode, Buster expresses his dislike for his mother by going on an expletive laden tirade, all of which had to be censored by the network.

There is no violence on this program.

This program is most appropriate for an audience of 18 and up, as the material on the show is obnoxious and could be confusing to young children. Young children should not be permitted to watch this program"

Above: The PTC on Arrested Development

And there was me thinking that the bleeps were intended! I am right yes?
I had to sneak down to watch Saturday Night Live after everyone else had gone to bed, because had my parents known my interest, they wouldn't let me watch it. I was seven years old. When my parents found out of course, they forbid my watching any more of it, and I got punished. Naturally, that didn't stop me from being more sneaky the next time, and learning from my mistakes. I recall being more upset by a prime time Bob Hope special that dealt with death in a humorous manner, when I was too young to really understand what happens to people when they die. I was more scarred by that than anything the Not Ready For Prime Time Players ever dished out.

If a child really wants to expose themselves to something, their parents can only do so much. Personally I believe most parents try to do too much and protect their children from reality too often. Of course I can say that today with the luxury that I have no children of my own. I've been told if ever I got a child my opinion would change. That's an impossible argument to defend, because I plan to never have children, so how will I know?

There are young people today in this country living in poverty, in slum neighborhoods that are just this side of demilitarized zones. Yet we're concerned the child might learn something about how human bodies interact with one another or dispose of waste? I find the Parents Television Council more offensive than anything on television, and that the FCC even entertained the PTCs grievances is equally offensive to me. But again, as I said above, the extremists will continue to fight it out and the rest of us are forced to tolerate it. Doesn't mean I have to like it.
The PTC's description of the scene in question.

Spike is on top of Harmony, their clothes are on, but his body rocks back and forth and their breathing is heavy. She tries to speak, but he tells her not to spoil the moment. Her eyes start to bleed, and suddenly she turns into her vampire self and bites his neck.

Who else would like to see fanfic written by the PTC?
Simon, that is just very disturbing.... fanfic by the PTC, egads.

btw, Isn't the demographic target for both Angel and Buffy somewhere around 16-30 years old? I don't know about the PTC but when I was 16 there was very little my parents could have done to control my eating habits, much less my TV habits.
Maybe I should email them... lol

This thread has been closed for new comments.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.

joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home