- Asia Pacific
- FACTS & FICTIONS
- Health Care
- Labor & Employment
- MEDIA FRENZY
- Middle East
- On the Line
- PEACE & WAR
- PEOPLE & VOICES
- Straight talk
- The After Pill
- The Dropshot
- The Refresh
- White House
Late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert delivered a controversial monologue involving a sexual act between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Federal Communications Commission didn’t find this joke to be the slightest bit funny after receiving a number of complaints and claimed they will be taking “the appropriate action.”
“I have had a chance to see the clip now and so, as we get complaints — and we have gotten a number of them — we are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and a number of other courts,” Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, said on Philadelphia talk radio station 1210 WPHT.
During Monday night’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on CBS, the host’s opener quickly backfired against him as people took to Twitter with the hashtag ‘FireColbert.’ Some even considered the joke to be homophobic.
However, Colbert may be saved from penalization because his show airs after the FCC’s “safe harbor time” of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“After 10 p.m., the amount of conduct that the indecency rules are applied to is relaxed,” Pai said. “In previous years, these complaints would just sit on the shelf and we’re committed to making sure we evaluate these cases and try to do it in a timely way.”
Speech considered “indecent” before 10 p.m. gets flagged by the FCC. Content after 10 p.m. must be considered “obscene” in order for action to be taken.
The content must meet a three-tier Supreme Court test to be labeled as “obscene,” according to the agency’s website.
“It must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a ‘patently offensive’ way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value,” the website reads.
On Wednesday, Colbert responded to the backlash during the opener of his show, defending his joke. He said he regretted his word choice but didn’t apologize for what was said.
“So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” he said. “I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that.”
Featured Image via Flickr/Peabody Awards