FCC Weighs Olympics Indecency Complaints

NEW YORK The Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement bureau has asked NBC for tapes of the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics, apparently in response to one or more indecency complaints.

It is unclear who may have complained or what aspect of the broadcast may have prompted a complaint, said the sources who revealed the request but spoke on condition of anonymity.

An FCC representative late Friday would not confirm or deny an investigation, but said the agency has received at least one complaint about the telecast.

The Olympics opening ceremony on Aug. 14 in Athens, Greece, included actors and actresses depicting two lovers dancing in the sea, a goddess of fertility and a pregnant woman whose belly glowed.

The FCC investigates allegations of indecent broadcasts when it receives complaints.

The procedure has come under increasing scrutiny with the recent disclosure that, aside from those concerning the controversial Super Bowl broadcast, more than 99 percent of recent indecency complaints have come from one group, the Parents Television Council.

The PTC said the FCC is failing to count many thousands of its complaints. It said the source of complaints should make no difference to a process aimed at determining whether networks are breaking the law against indecent broadcasts. Critics of the PTC have said it is attempting to impose its views of acceptable broadcasts.