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Breaking: FCC reviewing NBC's Golden Globes telecast

January 14, 2009 | 12:51 pm

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

 

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