PTC Roasts Comedy Central

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The Parents Television Council Friday roasted Comedy Central, blasting the network for placing an “unedited version” of its obscenity-laced Roast of Flavor Flav special on its Web site.

The watchdog group charged that children can have easy access to the racy programming on ComedyCentral.com

The PTC described the Flavor Flav roast, which aired Aug. 13, as “overwhelmingly vulgar, filled with obscene language and racist and sexually explicit material.” Comedy Central’s Web site tells viewers to “Enjoy the Roast of Flavor Flav in all its uncensored glory.”

“Comedy Central has done an end run on parents by making this uncensored content available on its Web site,” PTC president Tim Winter said in a prepared statement. “Some cable industry executives say they are behaving responsibly, but this action proves that their words are meaningless. It’s an utter disgrace that this network would let children have access to this content. The industry’s own solution – the V-chip - has been obviated by letting this type of content be easily accessible to children,” PTC President Tim Winter said.

Comedy Central charged back that the PTC was twisting the facts, pulling “out a nugget out of context to tell a story that serves their purpose,” according to network spokesman Tony Fox.

“Once again, the Parents Television Council is misrepresenting the facts to serve their own political agenda,” Fox said.

Comedy Central is not streaming the entire roast. It has just posted 30 clips from it, according to Fox, “only six of which are uncensored. And those clips are clearly marked with a warning that says ‘mature content, viewer discretion advised.’”

Fox also said that the vast majority of those watching Comedy Central, and using its Web site, are adults, are the network is serving that audience.

This is the second time that the PTC has complained about a TV-network content that it deems objectionable being put on the web. Last December, the watchdog group complained when NBC put an uncensored version of a Saturday Night Live skit, featuring Justin Timberlake, on YouTube and NBC.com. The skit featured Justin Timberlake singing a holiday song about a part of the male anatomy that was bleeped 16 times when it aired on television.

The PTC suggested some ways Comedy Central can ensure that kids can’t access objectionable content on its web site.

“Comedy Central should make web viewers prove their age with an age verification system,” Winter said. “They certainly can provide this solution if they want to. We hope that the cable network will reverse its irresponsible course.”

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