FCC fines for nudity and profanity thrown out by Supreme Court: How much should TV be censored?

nypd-blue-fcc-320.jpgOn a 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue," a woman's nude buttocks were briefly seen in a darkened scene. Today, nine years later, the Supreme Court ruled that ABC and 45 of its affiliates do not have to pay the $1.24 million in fines that the Federal Communications Commission proposed they pay.

In a ruling made on Thursday morning, the court threw out the fines for the "NYPD Blue" sex scene and for uses of profanity during live awards shows -- specifically, F-bombs dropped by Cher, Bono, and Nicole Richie during Billboard Awards and Golden Globes broadcasts in 2002 and 2003.

So should celebrities feel free to let the F-bombs fly during live broadcasts? Not quite. The court said that FOX and ABC could not be charged because the FCC's policy wasn't clarified until after the shows had already been broadcast. The FCC is still free to enforce their policies. The court did not rule on whether or not the FCC is constitutional.

A group called Morality in Media is demanding that the FCC enforce stricter rules. ""Broadcasters do not have a right to turn network television into a cesspool at the expense of children and those who wish to avoid the foul language and pornography that is now so common on cable television," says a spokesperson. "The FCC must now enforce our right to decency on the public airwaves."

Do you think that networks should be fined if celebrities curse during live broadcasts? Should brief images of nudity be cause for concern when extremely graphic violence is permissible on broadcast TV? Weigh in below in the comments section.
Photo/Video credit: ABC