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Breaking: FCC reviewing NBC's Golden Globes telecast

After receiving multiple complaints about NBC's Sunday telecast of the Golden Globes, the FCC said Wednesday that it is reviewing the program for possible violations of indecency rules.

Toward the end of the program, director Darren Aronofsky was caught on camera jokingly making an obscene gesture -- "flipping the bird," as it's commonly called -- at actor Mickey Rourke, who was onstage accepting an acting award for Aronofsky's film "The Wrestler." Rourke and other attendees also salted their speeches with occasional off-color language, some of which was bleeped by NBC censors.

Now the FCC, which regulates decency issues on the broadcast networks, has stepped into the fray. "We received 18 complaints about the Golden Globes telecast," FCC spokeswoman Edie Herman wrote in an e-mail to The Times, "and the commission is reviewing the matter." 

An NBC spokeswoman confirmed that it aired the Aronofsky gesture on the live telecast. "On the West Coast, it went to black for two seconds," the spokeswoman e-mailed. "Beyond that, we have no further comment."

Aronofsky's publicist, Karen Samfilippo, said earlier this week that she had not heard anything from NBC about the matter.

The FCC has a mixed record with decency enforcement. The agency fined CBS $500,000 for airing Janet Jackson's notorious "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl. But a court overturned the fine last year.

-- Scott Collins


Comments () | Archives (226)

Perhaps before you make uneducated comments about '18 people', you should look at the facts.
There could have been 18,000 complaints about the *18 separate instances* of reportable circumstances.

Imagine that. Someone was actually watching the Golden Globes.

To the people who complained: Please, you need to lighten up, seriously. Were you really so offended by the words and gestures, or maybe just happy to have something to complain about? It was live show, a celebration, with Hollywood people. Spontaneous stuff happens. Do you get that? I promise your kids will not be ruined if they saw this. But they may have some issues with you in the future if you are so uptight as to file a complaint about this silliness.

I see all these posts by people that are just raging at Hollywood and I can't help but think it's because they feel left out of our popular culture. Our entertainment is our culture and movies are a huge part of that and I can't help but think that the right-wing people that come here and cry about the industry are also crying because they are mostly left out of or are ridiculed in our pop culture and entertainment.

I just love going to the movie and entertainment blogs Drudge links to during award season. The comments provide me with a lot of laughs.

FYI, the Golden Globes aren't given by Hollywood folks to Hollywood folks, they're given by about 100 foreign journalists.

I missed the awards show. I was watching my favorite Rob Zombie movie. Yea, you know which one.

and I'm sure the 18 who complained were knuckle-draggers that cheer for war-war-war and voted for Bush 10 times!

Another fine example of our glorious FCC defending 18 Americans from an obscene jester. The FCC is doing a wonderful job. Maybe we should send over some of their investigators to the SEC so they can help find crooked investors who steal 50 billion dollars.

Once the show started with all the Obamunist "yes we can" crap, I changed the channel. The only ones complaining are the only ones who sat thru that ridiculious, self-aggrandizing spectacle.
Why don't those arrogant idiots try to help the economy by taking a few million less for their dim-witted attempts at entertainment?

i never wanted to see janet's ring. i saw that kitten marissa tomie's rings and i just want to make a movie and beg her to remove them forever.

For everyone bitching about their kids, give me a break. Why are your kids watching the Golden Globes? With awards for shows like Grey's Anatomy and the HBO/Showtime lineup that ostensibly your precious children should not be watching either? Here's a newsflash: the Golden Globes is grown-up TV. If a middle finger popped up on Saturday morning cartoons, you'd have a reason to complain, but there's no reason to expect primetime TV to be preschool-friendly. It's not. Deal with it and police what your children watch if you're convinced that someone flipping the bird will warp their little minds. They're already seeing and hearing it all at school and you should probably just concentrate on teaching them what is and is not appropriate rather than copping out by trying to keep them ignorant of everything inappropriate, but whatever.

A million times word to fATrAT. This is not a theocracy and you have no right to force your beliefs on others. If you want prayer in schools, send your child to a private school. No one's stopping you.

All you naysayers have it wrong. The FCC should investigate. It must have been a tirade of foul language and obscenities if all 18 people watching it complained.

Well apparently the 18 people NEVER drive on the freeway or motor route as as GPS riles. Gasp, they just never see what people do when they turn their backs.

The above gesture is used more in today's society than a friendly wave.

A couple of months ago while driving down a mountain road on a very black night,a couple of cars were speeding aside of me. Believe it or not; I looked over and the lady driver had turned on her interior lights and was gesturing the driver behind her, while watching him in her rear view mirror.

I wonder how many people we can find to complain about the FCC. Something tells me it will be significantly higher than 18.

Wow. Considering how many people think the joke, "all 18 people watching the Golden Globes must have complained' is funny or creative just goes to illustrate why Hollywood is perceived to be so liberal. Conservative people seem to have no creativity, talent or sense of humor. If any of you morons have any talent then go out and make your own movies.

14.6 million people watched the Golden Globes this year, beat out by, you guessed it, football. Men wearing tights, playing with a leather ball and slapping each other on the ass. I think I'll stick with the awards show.

If you are offended by a mans middle finger? Well not his finger, only his finger when it is held in a particular way, you are a friggin idiot. It wasn't even directed at you!

It is amazing how we are such an immature bunch of monkeys.

Evolve monkeys EVOLVE!

The FCC is a waste of taxpayer money. Why is it anyone's business what's said on TV? If you don't like what you see or hear, change the channel. Instead, we have these pontificating idiots, on a government salary, telling us what indecency is?
For those of you who want to "protect the children" they know better swear words than their concerned parents do.

Since most of Hollywood became politicians, I started watching CSPAN. Now THAT'S entertaining!

Its about time someone is looking into the offensive language & symbols that are allowed on television today in the name of freedom of speech!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Gary | January 14, 2009 at 02:19 PM

You mean, freedom of speech for the sake of freedom of speech.

You are free to watch something else. Think for yourself then you wont need government to tell you what is "safe" to watch.

It is unreal to me that this agency is still chasing people around like the thought police. They should be abolished. The error here is that the govn't was ever given the power to police "airwaves" to begin with. They should focus on what they're good at, namely creating more ponzi schemes like forcing banks to lend money to poor people with no credit, so we can have fun in our very own home made new great depression! Then we can vote them into power to save us with Socialism like Bush did and now Obama will do some more. Hey man, it worked in Russia.

I mean, look how well Communism turned out. And come to think of it, wasn't it Stalin who came up with the whole spy on people for doing naughty things in public idea? Or was that Hitler? Or was it Lucius Cornelius Sulla...um...one of those. Anyway, the irony here is that Aranofsky is the only normal and polite looking fellow at the whole event! You never can tell though who has a middle finger on their hand.

Everyone who agrees that this is nonsense should complain directly to the FCC about the wasting of tax payers money to investigate complaints of less than a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the US population.

And complain about their abuse of the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and a free press while you're at it.

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