June 4th, 2010
04:47 PM ET

FCC may fine Fox for $25,000

Fox may end up with a $25,000 fine from the FCC for failing to respond to the organization’s inquiry into the more than 100,000 indecency complaints caused by the January 3 episode of Fox’s “American Dad.”

According to Variety, the FCC is citing Fox’s “apparent willful and repeated violations” of an order to respond, not the actual content of the episode.

The episode featured a scene where two main characters discuss giving a horse a "full release," followed by another suggestive scene that implies the action was accomplished.

Fox has responded with a statement saying it's “puzzled” by the FCC’s citations because they “responded to all of the questions related to substance of the investigation,” according to Variety.

Was the episode worth all the fuss? You can see for yourself here.

Filed under: television

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soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. tryecrot

    Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

    August 27, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rob


    Watched the first couple episodes of the show. In my opinion the show is complete rubbish. So I never did see the offending episode. I will offer this. Don't watch it again, if you were offended.


    June 7, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Monique

    People calm down! FOX is being fined for "Failure" to responde to inquiries from the FCC, not from the content of the show. We really have a problem with reading comprehension in America!

    June 7, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ralf

    I saw this episode back when it aired. I thought that particular part of the episode was a little over the top and not funny. However, as opposed to complain about it, or get offended, or write angry letters, I just switched the channel. If you find some of the jokes on a show to be offensive, just don't watch it. It is way easier and less annoying to everyone out there that actually does want to watch the show.

    June 7, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jon

    Maybe it's just FAMILY GUY, but I could have sworn that Seth MacFarlane had the Holy Grail of Network TV - there aren't many shows that this applies to.......that FOX's Standards and Legals Department does NOT require episode submissions before airtime. They can block it when it would repeat, or not include controversial eps as part of syndication packages. THE X-Files was the same way (for the most part, especially towards the end of that show's run). With the $100M contract Seth signed last year, I'm FLOORED by the fact it seems he wasn't given "free reign". Still a genius, though. Absolutely behind him no matter what.

    June 7, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. psychlops

    i just love how offended people can get by other peoples' comments

    June 6, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bad Parent

    Totally funny. And, my child is grown, but even when he was a teen (the only age child that should be watching TV at 9:30), I'd have been ok with him watching that. Y'all need to loosen up. I thought the Puritans went out a few hundred years ago.

    June 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Smith in Oregon

    CNN seems to be sending cross signals here. On MSNBC Rachel Maddow spent a afternoon on the beaches and out in the Maaarsh, and it didn't take long for her and her crew to be overcome by the toxic poisons boiling off the abundant heavy crude Oil swirling in the water.

    Meanwhile Anderson Cooper on CNN's AC360 is lauding people to come to Louisiana's coast line, breathe in the air (crude Oil fumes), eat the seafood (that 'hopefully' is not heavily contaminated with carcinogenic poisons from the crude Oil).

    Seems like two anchors seeing the same devastation have totally different words coming out of their mouths. CNN seems to be sending cross signals here.

    Crude Oil is a poison and a neuro-toxin, it's not friendly slime, it's not some chia-pet you water and grow. If you play with it, eat it, drink it or breathe it, you will get sick. How sick depends solely on the amount of crude Oil you are exposed to.

    Anderson Cooper seems to be hawking the Be All You Can Be in a Republican Dream Vacation of a lifetime on the Coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle!

    Imagine breathing in the smell of progress (crude oil) as you relax in your hotel and villas! View the world's largest dead zone in the entire world everyday of your vacation! The EPA promises, your children are entirely safe as they swim in the toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic waters lapping up on the shoreline. Enjoy the sounds of silence from the absence of the frogs, pelicans and seagulls!

    Admiral Thad Allen has personally tasted the very food you'll be eating, and he vouches for it's safety! Every visitor that books their gulf coast vacation can receive a complimentary tar ball! Imagine being the first on your block with a Gulf Region tar ball!

    Be all you can be with this Republican Dream vacation and remember thanks entirely to the GOP there's plenty of crude Oil to go around the entire State of Florida!

    June 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smith-Lover

      @smith in Or.

      Wow! Republican dream vacation? Quite the retarded education of history you have there, smart smith. I'm sure any response you provide will be a hugely generalized personal attack when the topic is specific to environmental energy policy (or personal responsibility issues like changing the channel if you dislike the programming)... Just keep in mind that the more you single out a single group (GOP) for your problems the more blind you are to the real issues. I'm sure you believe there is a popular flavour of Republican Kool-Aid being downed by the gallon. People on the right say the same of the DNC folks. Everything being bunged up right now is the fault of both sides of our government. Its obvious you have strong feelings about the oil spill, strong enough to rudely post a comment where it doesn't belong at least. You are a DNC sell out, Smith. Open your eyes and see that both parties have the same goal and that is spending money to get re-elected. Period. Oh they would like you to think they have some sort of great plan and that there are deep philosophical differences between the DNC and GOP but 50 years of history would prove that not to be the case. Don't believe the hype and spend your energy on posting in the correct area for your conversation and putting people in office that will do what the majority of the American People want done. Have a brilliant vacation, Smith from Oregon! 🙂 Meow!

      June 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. metro

    Seriously, it is just simple harmless TV show. If you don't like it, then don't watch. But as always, you all need to whine and cry. How about you be a parent and take control of what your children watch and let those of us who enjoy an occasional twisted laugh be and if your old enough to have grandchildren, then maybe you should take your old crusty self to bed with a nice warm glass of milk. You can dream of yesteryear when you had 3 channels and overly censored programs to watch.

    June 6, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. mejazzbo

    I have been thoroughly trained in the use of my channel changer. If I don't like what I see on TV, I change the channel. You can too. It's not high school math. Simply take your thumb out of your incredibly tight caboose and use it to push the channel up or channel down button on your clicker. Go on. Don't be scared. You can do it. You won't break it. See, you did it. Congratulations! Your life will be much simpler now. Better living through technology. Since you have mastered this you can now move on to knife and fork training or the ever evasive, shoe tying.

    June 6, 2010 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. Boobop

    He was very clearly joking mattaddydaddy. I agree though, people need to grow thicker skin.

    June 6, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • mattaddydaddy

      Oooh, good call, man. I think i was just in a disgusted state of mind after reading all the posts before this one. Sweet, sweet hippocrital irony, i fail to see the humor in a humerous post about people who dont see humor in humor. Terrible. Sorry, kitty, if you want, ill pet you and we can make up! 😉

      June 6, 2010 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. mattaddydaddy

    Seriously? Biobabekitty, what exactly is your idea of "the american dream"? Is it an America without man/horse humor? I had no idea whatsoever that one of the principles this country was founded on was; "We, the people, will not have bestiality humor on out television, which can be changed and turned off quite easily". Get a life, and grow up. I hate Glen Beck more than many, many things, but it's fine by me that he'son TV cause I can change it. 2 wars, an environmental disaster, and an economy in shambles, and THIS ruins your day?! It really blows my mind how sad and pathetic some peoples lives are....just so sad.

    June 6, 2010 at 2:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. biobabekitty

    OMG IM OFFENDED!@# Someone should pay lots & lots of money to someone to make me feel safe again!! The american dream is RUINED!

    June 5, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ruffnutt

    sounds like hannah needs a full release 🙂

    June 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. J

    Why do people think they have a right to control what I watch on TV? If you don't like something change the channel. I don't like a bunch of lame shows and rather than complain I just flip to something else. Why can't you do the same?

    June 5, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Hannah

    I thinnk they should be fined 2 becuase they are not very good shows. I don't like them because THEY ARE STUPID!!!!!!!! And if u don't notice that then you are f****n' Retarded

    June 5, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      please no cnn comments when intoxicated, please?
      we can't tell if you're in your right mind or not

      June 6, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Mark

    If you dont like what you see change the damn channel! Theres something for everyone on tv and if there isnt anything for you....theres an off button. How can anyone be offended at anything on the tv honestly?? If a joke on tv making you uncomfortable is the worst part of your day then you got made in the shade

    June 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Friar

    @killez – because Discovery is on cable, and Fox is broadcast through the air. the airwaves are a "public resource" and as such face regulation, whereas cable does not.

    Also, for those of you who can't read, the fine wasnt for the joke, it was for failure to respond.

    Lastly, i agree if you don't like the show, change the damn channel. let the rest of us watch it if we want.

    June 5, 2010 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  19. pstevedelic

    Ya know what Granny ? I'm a Grandparent, too! But unlike you I've heard of changing the channel, turning off the set, and doing something else like watching a DVD. This show is not for children even if it is a cartoon. It's for adults with a brain in their head, who actually know how to think for themselves. Go back to your tea party, and leave the rest of us to decide for ourselves (HMMM freedom what a concept !)

    June 5, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  20. Thomas

    I love Family Guy. I couldn't get into American Dad. I wasn't offended by the horse clip, but it wasn't really funny, either. Props to Seth for continuing to push the envelope, though!

    June 5, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  21. Killez

    Oh Come On.. So let me get straight this Mike Rowe can do the same exact thing on Dirty Jobs, but yet American Dad gets all the blame??????? If they fine fox why not fine Discovery for showing the same thing??

    June 5, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Demented Waltz

      Killez, you make a really good point. Same situation, but differnt scenario. Why is one considered acceptable, and the other not?

      June 5, 2010 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  22. Carterwife007

    Are you serious, this is one of the funniest shows on air! You have the control to stop this, it's called a remote, change the channel, it can't offend you, if you don't watch!

    June 4, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  23. G. Stone

    Come on people, you are talking about a show that you probably don't understand because you have reached the age that you think things should be censored or toned down. The best thing about this country is that everyone has certain rights and one of those happens to be Freedom of Speech! Oh my god! So to all of you that have bad things to say about a cartoon go watch Glen Beck cry some more and feel like you a part of this country when you are slowly becoming the old farts that smell up the place.

    June 4, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mary

    Come on guys, I love a good laugh just as much as the next person but this was a bit too much for regular television. I think they should leave humor like this for HBO.

    June 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Kyle

    Dave, Meg heres an idea. 1 dave maybe you shouldnt watch shows you dont like?? hmm shocking 2 meg how retarded are you. Its American dad .. your really gonna out that on with your grandchildren are around ?? Not to mention why is your old ass even watching that?

    June 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Meg Safranek

    I see no humor here. I find it disgusting. Why should we have to cringe when we turn the TV set on anymore? When my grandchildren are here, I'm afraid to turn it on. Fine them! They should have known better!

    June 4, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Why would you let your grand kids let watch tv or american dad? How about reading to them or letting them play?

      June 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Norm

      I don't understand how a show that on at 9:30pm on a school night could possibly be seen by children...unless of course the children aren't being monitored. In that case I would say "bad parents," not "bad FOX."

      June 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      wen your grandchildren arrive at your house, why not give em a game to play? buy em an xbox, thatll keep em out of family guy and american dad and south park and all other dirty cartoons of the sort

      June 6, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralf

      Yeah, I would think letting you kids see that show would be a mistake to begin with. Anyone who has seen it at least one time (or even half an episode) would know it is totally innappropriate for kids to watch. Do you not ban your kids from seeing certain shows? I know when I was a kid there were certain things I was not permitted to watch.

      June 7, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  27. Dave Yaeck

    That wasn't funny. I think they should be fined. I don't know why there are shows out there like that. JMO.

    June 4, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      So because you don't think it's funny a show should be fined? Don't watch it if you don't like it. Most of us aren't as uptight as you.

      June 4, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brittany

      I thought that excerpt was disgusting, not funny, and inappropriate. Fine 'em!

      June 5, 2010 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • pstevedelic

      This IS funny. Why can't people like you realize that life isn't a tea party, it gets messy and ugly, and sometimes (if you have an independent thought process anyway), its FUNNY. We're in up to our necks over this economy, yet we still have money for this kind of lunacy ? I don't know about you, but I really don't need a big brother agency dictating my viewing habits. As its been stated before CHANGE THE CHANNEL BUTTHEAD ! There's most likely a stupid reality show or an american idol clone that's just perfectly suited to your low level of brain activity. GET A LIFE !

      June 5, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      I find your statement undeniably offensive. I think CNN should fine you $1,000. Oh wait, if I don't like what you say I should stop reading it! No! Damn you logic and your sense making! Only 100,000 requests to that episode? I'm sure that results in at most 10% of the viewers on that day let alone all the ones who watch it regularly. I would be more likely to believe that you and others watch things you find offensive because of some deep seeded masochistic desire that you need to fulfill.

      June 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |

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