Saturday Night Live may be looking at a fine from the FCC after the show’s host, Sam Rockwell, dropped the ‘F-word’ early into this week’s broadcast.
After delivering a self-deprecating monologue about his sidekick status in Hollywood, Rockwell let the profanity slip during the first sketch of the program, a segment based on a parody of a PBS children’s show.
In the skit, Rockwell’s character can be seen getting increasingly frustrated with two dim-witted children giving incorrect answers to seemingly simple questions.
Saturday Night Live may be looking at a fine from the FCC after the show’s host, Sam Rockwell, dropped the ‘F-word’
It’s unclear what action the The Federal Communications Commission will take following live airing of the sketch
‘You can’t be this f***ing stupid,’ Rockwell blurts, immediately apologizing right after while still in charachter. ‘I’m sorry. You can’t be this stupid.’
It’s unclear what action the The Federal Communications Commission, an independent agency of the United States government, will take following live airing of the sketch.
The most famous case involving an FCC fine occurred in the wake of the now infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ incident during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show performance involving Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake.
More than 500,000 people flooded the agency with indecency complaints after Jackson’s breast was exposed, leading the FCC to fine CBS $550,000.
In 2009, SNL cast member Jenny Slate dropped an ‘F-bomb’ during a live performance late in the show where she had to say the word ‘freaking’ over and over, according to Vulture.com.
Slate, however, escaped a reprimand from the US government, according to Vulture.com, which takes a more lenient approach to censorship after 10pm.
The FCC website states under its ‘Obscenity, Indecency and Profanity’ section, ‘The FCC has defined profanity as including language so grossly offensive to members of the public who actually hear it as to amount to a nuisance.
‘Like indecency, profane speech is prohibited on broadcast radio and television between the hours of 6am and 10pm.’
The website goes on to define the parameters by stating: ‘Obscene content does not have protection by the First Amendment. For content to be ruled obscene, it must meet a three-pronged test established by the Supreme Court: It must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a ‘patently offensive’ way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
‘Indecent content portrays sexual or excretory organs or activities in a way that does not meet the three-prong test for obscenity.
‘Profane content includes ‘grossly offensive’ language that is considered a public nuisance.’