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Parents Television Council - Because Our Children Are Watching

FCC Campaign

Help Us Put an End to Broadcast Indecency


Instructions: By completing this FCC indecency complaint and clicking the "Sign and Submit" button, you will be registering an OFFICIAL COMPLAINT. You will need to provide the FCC with specific evidence needed to take immediate regulatory action against the program. Your COMPLAINT will be electronically forwarded to the FCC by the Parents Television Council. You will receive a copy of your complaint via email. We encourage you to print it out and mail it to the FCC to make sure that they don't "lose" your complaint that is sent via email.

Information about Broadcast Obscenity/Indecency Laws:

The Courts have said that obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment and cannot be broadcast at any time. To be considered obscene, material must meet a 3-prong test:

  1. An average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient (arousing lustful feelings) interest;

  2. The material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law; and

  3. The material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Indecency is defined as language or material that, in context, describes or depicts, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community broadcast standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities. Indecent programming contains patently offensive sexual or excretory references that do not rise to the level of obscenity. As such, the courts have held that indecent material is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be banned entirely. It may, however, be restricted in order to avoid its broadcast during times of the day when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience. As such, broadcasts -- both on television and radio -- that fit within the indecency definition and that are aired between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. are subject to indecency enforcement action.

These laws DO NOT apply to cable programming.

More info on the FCC

Worried about indecency on cable? Find out more about our Cable Consumer Choice Campaign

Filing a complaint on Canadian broadcast TV or Radio

Have a question about this form? Email us.

You can use the form below or you can send your FCC Complaint directly to the FCC at

This is a formal COMPLAINT of indecency on broadcast television. My complaint concerns the PROGRAM ON:



Program Title


Broadcast Date


Broadcast Time


Time zone


TV Network Affiliate Call Sign or Radio Call Sign: (click here to look it up)


Description of Indecency in the above show: (Be as specific as possible. Describe specific dialogue and/or events surrounding the incident as best you can.)


This complaint has been officially filed By:

First Name


Last Name








Postal Code


Your Email


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