On Wednesday, November 2, a federal appeals court ruled that CBS should not be fined $550,000 for Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" that occurred during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.
During the show, Janet Jackson performed with Justin Timberlake to his hit song "Rock Your Body." The song ended with the line " "Bet I'll have you naked by the end of this song," and Timberlake proceeded to pull off a piece of Jackson's costume, which then revealed her breast for nine-sixteenths of a second.
The Parents Television Council issued a statement about the ruling saying they were "outraged" by the decision.
"Today's ruling reaches the level of judicial stupidity and is a sucker-punch to families everywhere. In rendering an opinion it wishes to foist on the nation, the Third Circuit has chosen to ignore the law, the facts, Supreme Court precedent, the intent of the Congress and the will of the American people," PTC President Tim Winter said in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com.
He added, "How can nudity and a striptease in front of 90 million unsuspecting TV viewers not qualify as indecency? We're not talking about content that aired after 10 pm in front of 90 million adults. Each and every year the Super Bowl broadcast draws the highest viewership ratings of the year, including tens of millions of children and families."
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals maintained its ruling after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered a review of the case in 2009 following its ruling in a related Fox television case, according to the Associated Press. In that case, the high court said the Federal Communications Commission could threaten fines over the use of even a single curse word uttered on live TV.
The appeals court ruled that the FCC currently has a right to fine over "fleeting images," the commission was wrong to fine CBS over the halftime show in February 2004 because the long-standing policy appeared to change without notice in March 2004 - a month after the act at the Super Bowl, held in Houston.
The FCC did not say if they would appeal the ruling but did release a statement on the matter. "We are pleased that the court did not question the F.C.C.'s statutory responsibility to regulate indecent broadcasting," the FCC's statement said, according to the New York Times.
The statement went on to say that the commission was "disappointed by the Court of Appeals" and added, "In the meantime, the F.C.C. will continue to use all of the authority at its disposal to ensure that the nation's broadcasters fulfill the public interest responsibilities that accompany their use of the public airwaves."