A parents group announced it has filed a Federal Communications Commission complaint against Fox’s The X Factor for showing a contestant who exposed himself on stage.
In a pre-taped segment from the reality show’s two-hour Wednesday night premiere, contestant Geo Godley dropped his pants and sang for the judges and studio audience while apparently nude. The judges were appalled – Paula Abdul stormed off stage and appeared to be ill, saying the performance “literally made me sick,” while L.A. Reid declared, “that was offensive, disgusting, distasteful, upsetting – get him out of the building please!”
“Perhaps the ‘X’ in X Factor stands for the MPAA rating,” said PTC president Tim Winter, whose organization filed the complaint this morning. “If Godley performed his act in public, he would have been arrested. But if he performs it in front of a Fox camera, his act is beamed via the public airwaves into every home in the nation.”
“The prolonged, previously videotaped footage of a contestant dancing nude on the X Factor stage represents a conscious decision by the producers – with the approval of the network’s broadcast standards department – to intentionally air this content in front of millions of families during hours when they knew full well that children would be watching. Families were led to believe the X Factor would be family-friendly programming and instead were assaulted by graphic nudity.”
Except “graphic nudity” isn’t accurate – Fox put a large red “X” over Godley’s crotch during the sequence.
Said Godley after the performance: “I was in key, everything was going well,” he said. “My pants were down and I was jumping around and all of a sudden the audience turned against me. I don’t know what happened. I thought they’d like it.”
The complaint comes as broadcast decency laws are expected to be reviewed by the Supreme Court during its upcoming term. The Court will look at the FCC’s crackdown on “fleeting expletives” accidentally aired by broadcasters, a case stemming from a complaint against Fox which aired Cher and Nicole Richie saying the f-word during two separate telecasts of the Billboard Music Awards.
Fox has wrestled with the PTC several times in the past, over its reality shows and scripted fare like Family Guy. The network had no comment.