Fox says it covered up the naked rear end of a cartoon character recently because of nervousness over what the Federal Communications Commission will find objectionable.
The latest example of TV network self-censorship because of FCC concerns came a few weeks ago during a rerun of a “Family Guy” cartoon. Fox electronically blurred a character’s posterior, even though the image was seen five years ago when the episode originally aired.
“We have to be checking and second-guessing ourselves now,” Fox entertainment president Gail Berman said Monday. “We have to protect our affiliates.”
Fox hadn’t gotten any complaints about the cartoon. But the move follows the FCC’s decision in October to fine 169 Fox stations $7,000 each for airing an episode of “Married By America” that showed people licking whipped cream from strippers’ bodies and a man in his underwear being spanked by strippers.
“It’s certainly confusing when you have to do something like that,” Berman said. “It’s just that we were trying to find our way and do what’s responsible.”
At PBS, executives said this weekend they will edit out a glimpse of a naked woman in a fictional account of a terrorist “dirty bomb” attack that will air next month after being shown first on HBO.