FCC commish seeks indecency standard overhaul in wake of 'Victoria's Secret Fashion Show'
By Reality TV World staff, 11/21/2002
Reuters reports that a top communications official on Thursday called for an overhaul of the government's broadcast indecency standard as hundreds of complaints flooded his office about the Victoria's Secret lingerie fashion show that aired on prime-time television Wednesday night.
Michael Copps, one of five commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, urged the agency to revise the definition of indecency and also look into whether it should be expanded to include obscene, violent and profane programming. "The current definition of indecency to me should be capturing for enforcement purposes some of these programs and it is not," Copps told reporters during a briefing. "We are only having a paucity of enforcement actions against programming that is palpably and demonstrably indecent." "I am strongly of the opinion we ought to be considering excessive violence as part of that definition," he said. A revision is "sensitive, it's delicate, it's difficult to do that, but I think we need to do that."
Despite the controversy, the show proved a relative ratings dud, averaging about 10.5 million viewers to finish the 9 o'clock hour in third place behind its ABC and NBC rivals. The CBS special was trounced by ABC's two-hour season finale of romance reality hit "The Bachelor," which averaged 24.1 million viewers during the 9 p.m. hour, and it trailed the 15 million tallied by NBC's political drama "The West Wing."