The agency rejected the argument that "the buttocks are not a sexual organ."

Nude buttocks may cost ABC $1.4 million
The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $1.4 million fine against 52 ABC Television Network stations over a 2003 broadcast of cop drama NYPD Blue.

The fine is for a scene where a boy surprises a woman as she prepares to take a shower. The scene depicted "multiple, close-up views" of the woman's "nude buttocks" according to an agency order issued late Friday.

ABC is owned by the Walt Disney Co. The fines were issued against 52 stations either owned by or affiliated with the network.

FCC's definition of indecent content requires that the broadcast "depicts or describes sexual or excretory activities" in a "patently offensive way" and is aired between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

The agency said the show was indecent because "it depicts sexual organs and excretory organs -- specifically an adult woman's buttocks."

The agency rejected the network's argument that "the buttocks are not a sexual organ."

I'll be expecting one of you commenters to find these alleged buttocks on the youtubes.

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35 Responses:

  1. caprinus says:


    So next time I'm in the shower soaping my ass, I'm masturbating? Good to know, FCC!

  2. That show was famous for showing man-ass. Why aren't they being fined for all the seasons of man-ass?

  3. dojothemouse says:

    Ok, fine, but then cleavage and/or underboob is a sexual organ also.

  4. ivan_ghandhi says:

    Is middle finger a sex organ? (while index finger is not?)

  5. So, the implication is... that the FCC condones buttsecks?

    • dojothemouse says:

      Or that the FCC are all ass-men.

    • wehmuth says:

      I think it's clear from the above discussion that the FCC condemns woman-buttocks, but condones man-buttocks.

      Anyway, since when were the buttocks excretory organs? Some lessons in physiology required at the FCC, or is that too close to devil-science?

      FCC: Tough on buttocks, tough on the causes of buttocks.

  6. kencf0618 says:

    Baby got back.

  7. wikkit42 says:

    The next No Pants subway ride should be direct to FCC HQ.

  8. jodamiller says:

    One can do a lot of sexual things using just a hand.

  9. lafinjack says:

    Note also that Dian Keaton said 'fucking' on Good Morning America (another ABC program) a couple weeks ago, unbleeped, and is not getting fined because, in essence, 'she didn't mean it'.

  10. azul_ros says:

    That is so stupid!!!

  11. rik says:

    Reading the original reason for fining slightly further, we find that it's likely to be a publicity stunt, one which appears to be working. They're contesting the buttocks[1] but not contesting the breast that was shown. I suspect that the breast has monetarily landed them i nmore hot water than the buttocks. As pozorvlak suggests, they may only be 0.8 million dollar buttocks at the most.

    In a way, I see their point - female buttocks are completely arbitrarily defined as "sexual" in this case, since male buttocks are not. On the other hand, have you ever seen a woman and thought to yourself "mm, nice ass"?

    [1] A phrase I never thought I'd write, right up until I did.

    • irilyth says:

      My admittedly vague impression is that the ass crack is the particular thing you're not supposed to show, at least based on unscripted shows' tendency to pixellate all ass cracks (both male and female). The "excretory organ" argument makes a little more sense in that context, since if you could see someone's ass crack, you might be able to see their anus. Sort of in the same way that nipples are an excretory organ, but breasts are not.

      Fuck you very much, the FCC.

      • rik says:

        My admittedly vague impression

        I neglected to mention that I'm in England, and therefore, this is all the more hilarious due to the rules not only being arbitrary, but being different to my own arbitrary rules.

        Your statements make an awful lot of sense, however, and, indeed, no nipple appears ot have been revealed, in the clip posted in the first reply.

        • phoenixredux says:

          And don't even try to comprehend the absurdity of why we can show people being killed, maimed and mutilated in every way you can imagine (and possibly a few you can't), but we can't put a very beautiful naked woman on television. I'll never understand the logic.

          • rik says:

            I'm reading Bill Bryson's "Notes from a Big Country" right now. It's full of this stuff, and quite an entertaining read, if you like his style.

      • nategodin says:

        Nice icon... reminds me of this statue in Worcester.