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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 April, 2004, 10:53 GMT 11:53 UK
TV giants back Bono 'free speech'
Bono used a four-letter word at the 2003 Golden Globes
Media companies and artists have protested a ruling made against U2 frontman Bono over his use of a swear word at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards.

The Screen Actors Guild and CBS owner Viacom were among those protesting against regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

They said the FCC's ruling against Bono is "chilling free speech across the broadcast landscape".

Bono used a four-letter word as he accepted an award at the ceremony.


The FCC ruled last month that NBC, who broadcast the ceremony, had violated a federal law by broadcasting the expletive.

It rejected its own earlier decision that the outburst was not indecent because the expletive was used as an adjective rather than in a sexual context. However, it decided against imposing a fine on the network.

NBC said the ruling went against years of allowing "isolated and fleeting" utterances of four-letter words in news and live broadcasts.

Meanwhile, US broadcasters have hit back at the government's crackdown against swearing and other indecent material on TV and radio.


Over 20 broadcasters and media organisations have sent a petition to the FCC asking it to reconsider its rules over bad language and indecent content.

They have argued that while obscene programmes should not be shown, swearing and nudity on TV should not always be considered indecent.

The crackdown came after Janet Jackson's breast exposure during the Super Bowl half time show caused public outrage.

Since then, live shows such as the Oscars have been broadcast with a time delay, while broadcasters including controversial 'shock jock' Howard Stern have been dropped from some radio stations in the US.

US broadcasters fight indecency
02 Apr 04  |  Entertainment
US TV watchdog banishes swearing
19 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
Bono's TV swearing 'not offensive'
07 Oct 03  |  Entertainment
Janet flash prompts new TV rules
31 Mar 04  |  Entertainment

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