2004 Regular Session
By: Representative Aldridge, Baker (74th), Beckett, Bentz, Bounds, Chism, Ellington, Fillingane, Nicholson, Parker, Patterson, Reed, Smith (39th), Turner, Wells-Smith
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION TO TAKE SWIFT ACTION IN PENALIZING CBS BROADCASTING, INC., FOR THE FEBRUARY 1, 2004, OFFENSIVE SUPER BOWL HALF-TIME SHOW, AND TO ASK CONSUMERS AND ADVERTISERS TO BOYCOTT GOODS, PROGRAMMING AND SPONSORSHIPS RELATED TO ALL INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE PRODUCTION OF THE SHOW.
WHEREAS, during the prime-time broadcast of the National Football League's (NFL) Super Bowl by CBS Broadcasting, Inc., on February 1, 2004, the MTV Network's half-time show featured entertainment by several musicians and singers; and
WHEREAS, the content of the show was indecent, vulgar and tasteless, including such activities as Janet Jackson grabbing her breasts, Justin Timberlake and Jackson bumping and grinding and groping each other, Sean P. Diddy fondling his crotch, cheerleaders performing a striptease routine and other dancers simulating sexual activities; and
WHEREAS, the offensive production ended with an obscene display of nudity by the exposure of Jackson's breast during the final lyric of the song "Rock Your Body," that includes the language "...going to have you naked by the end of this song."; and
WHEREAS, it is a violation of federal law to broadcast obscene programming at all times, and to broadcast indecent programming between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is charged with the responsibility of enforcing this law; and
WHEREAS, even if this offensive production does not reach the level of an obscene broadcast under a legal interpretation, it certainly qualifies as an indecent broadcast, meaning that federal laws require that its broadcast must be restricted in order to avoid times of the day when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience; and
WHEREAS, this tasteless production was aired during a time when millions of young Americans who are football fans were watching the Super Bowl, and the parents of these children had no advance warning or notice that the content of the show would be so offensive and indecent; and
WHEREAS, regardless of which individual(s) engineered the final deplorable stunt, the overall content of the entire half-time show is the joint responsibility of the performers, the NFL, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., and each television station affiliated with CBS, MTV Networks and Viacom International, Inc., which owns both CBS Broadcasting and MTV Networks; and
WHEREAS, while some of the parties involved may claim to have been unaware of the planned finale of the show, all of the named performers and entities associated with broadcasting the show were very aware in advance of the overall indecent content of the show, whether through observing rehearsals or reviewing plans for the content of the performance, and their claims of ignorance about the final stunt are without merit with regard to the overall indecent content of the show; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the FCC to take swift action in this specific instance so that performances of this obscene and indecent nature will not be broadcast in the future on noncable television channels in America, and the FCC is urged to impose monetary fines on CBS Broadcasting and on each television station affiliated with CBS that broadcast the show, to the maximum amounts allowable; and
WHEREAS, it is the obligation of those who use or associate the individuals and entities responsible for the offensive program in connection with advertising or promoting products or events to carefully reconsider using those individuals and entities in the future, in light of the message that such individuals and entities transmit to the American public, and in particular its most cherished resource--our children; and
WHEREAS, it is hoped that purchases of the body of commercial and musical work performed by all of the performers involved in the production of the show will be boycotted by consumers, demonstrating the American public's collective disgust in a monetary way to these performers; and
WHEREAS, it is the policy of this Legislature to voice its opinion on matters which it believes are in the public interest of the citizens of the State of Mississippi and our sister states:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That the FCC is strongly urged to immediately take all action authorized under federal law to penalize the entities involved in the indecent Super Bowl half-time show on February 1, 2004, to the fullest extent possible, and that American citizens and advertisers are encouraged to demonstrate their displeasure with the incident by failing to purchase goods or view programming offered by individuals or entities associated with the show.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the FCC, the NFL, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., MTV Networks, each television station in the State of Mississippi that is affiliated with CBS Broadcasting, Inc., and the Capitol Press Corps.