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MEDIA MATTERS

FCC approves Bono's F-word on TV

Did not violate obscenity code because he used it as adjective

The Federal Communications Commission ruled U2 singer Bono did not violate decency rules when he uttered the F-word on a television program, because he used it as an adjective.


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Bono (Photo: Irish Times)

The Parents Television Council and more than 200 people accused dozens of stations of violating federal restrictions when the singer said during the Golden Globe Awards in January, “this is really, really, f—— brilliant,” the Associated Press reported.

But the FCC, announcing the decision this week, said while the word may be crude and offensive, in the context in which Bono spoke, he “did not describe sexual or excretory organs or activities.”

The FCC’s enforcement bureau chief, David Solomon, explained Bono used the vulgarity as an adjective or to emphasize an exclamation and that “the use of specific words, including expletives or other ‘four-letter words’ does not render material obscene,” the AP reported.

“We have previously found that fleeting and isolated remarks of this nature do not warrant commission action,” Solomon said, according to the news wire.

The Los Angeles-based Parents Television Council said it plans to appeal.

“It’s not shocking to us on the FCC decision because they’re a toothless lion,” said Lara Mahaney, director of corporate and entertainment affairs for the council, according to the AP. “They don’t take indecency seriously and that’s why you see it proliferating on the broadcast airwaves.”

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