Parents Television Council Complains About "Who The F**k Are You" Lyric
July 14, 2005

ABC's Live 8 coverage has generated an indecency complaint, filed by The Parents Television Council. At issue is a performance by The Who during the July 2 Live 8: A Worldwide Concert Event broadcast on ABC Television. The complaint was filed against Allbritton' s WJLA-TV Washington.

The PTC alleges that the ABC broadcast didn't edit the F-word out of The Who's performance of "Who Are You." Specifically, the line in question is the lyric "who the f**k are you," a line that has been aired countless times in its unedited form on radio stations across the nation since its release in 1978.

When asked why the lyric is all of a sudden offensive after 27 years of radio broadcasts, PTC Executive Director Tim Winter told FMQB, "it's a great question," but the PTC is more concerned with television than radio. Citing the FCC's ruling that Bono dropping the F-bomb during an NBC broadcast of the Golden Globes was indecent, Winter contends that even though The Who lyric has been broadcast undedited on the radio, it "doesn't allow it to violate the law" and he felt that the Live 8 airing was "certainly offensive when it is broadcast to millions of families all across the country at the 8 o'clock hour."

ABC issued a statement saying, "Unfortunately, one inappropriate phrase sung by one performer was initially missed and made it into the East Coast network feed. It was subsequently edited out of the West Coast feed."

The Live 8 concert was a worldwide event held on July 2 designed to bring attention to the growing conditions of extreme poverty and debt facing much of Africa. The event garnered enough attention that, post-concert, British Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke on behalf of the G8 leaders, pledging $50 billion in aid to Africa.


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Mark Adams
San Francisco

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