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FSC Condemns Super Bowl Stunt

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Feb 5, 2004 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
CANOGA PARK, Calif. – Contrary to the general public's perception of the Free Speech Coalition's (FSC) firm and unrelenting stance in support of free speech rights, the FSC has made it clear that the Super Bowl antics were shocking and inappropriate and should in no way be confused with free speech issues as they relate to adult entertainment.

According to FSC Executive Director Kat Sunlove, the coalition's main office received a flurry of phone calls at the beginning of this week from members of the press thinking that FSC would be in support of the halftime entertainment that is currently being investigated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for indecency.

"We see this as adult entertainment, but it doesn't belong at the Super Bowl," she told XBiz. "It is totally a family show and it was very insensitive of the producers to present a show like that – not just the breast, but the entire performance was very sexualized. We all know what that stuff is supposed to symbolize, but a 5-year-old doesn't. The media continues to misunderstand us. They think the adult entertainment industry is behind this sort of thing."

In response to media requests, the FSC issued a statement Wednesday to clarify its position and point out the discrepancy between responsible adult entertainment content and inappropriate and tasteless behavior on national television.

Sunlove told XBiz that in the FSC's opinion, the entire halftime performance had "distinctly" sexual overtones and was therefore inappropriate for a family show such as the SuperBowl.

Joan Irvine, executive director for Adult sites Against Pornography (ASACP) agreed that the current investigation into the Super Bowl halftime show is justified.

"No one was given the opportunity to consent to viewing this very sexual performance," Irvine told XBiz. "If one of our Approved Members had so flagrantly disregarded one of the basic premises of ASACP's Best Practices: 'Protecting children from unknowingly viewing adult content,' we would be conducting an investigation too."

Just last month, ASACP added two new items to its Best Practices list for adult sites, including a recommendation that all e-marketing material be labeled with "ADV:ADLT," and that all adult index pages include disclaimers, age verification, and exclude images that would expose children from unknowingly viewing adult material.

Sunlove added that the FSC believes it is crucial to give parents adequate and timely warning that adult-oriented material is about to be aired.

"For example, people and parents know what children will view if they let them watch 'Sex in the City,' or programs labeled as adult themed," Sunlove said in a statement. "That is obviously not the case with the Super Bowl, which is expected to be family fare, a G-rating, not NC-17."

Sunlove concluded her statment by saying: "It is significant that this show was produced by MTV, not by any adult-oriented group. The adult entertainment industry would never have offered such titillating fare for a family show. There is a time and a place for adult entertainment and the Super Bowl is neither."

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