Dear Editor: The CW is threatening once again to cross the boundaries of good taste, social responsibility and decency by promising to air a sexual threesome between three major characters in the teen-targeted drama "Gossip Girl."
This kind of content does not belong on prime time broadcast television — period. And it is your obligation as a licensee of the publicly owned broadcast airwaves to serve the public interest, and to preempt programs that violate this community’s standards of decency, which teenagers engaging in three-way sex certainly does. I am urging you, as a member of this community and as a concerned parent to preempt the November 9 episode of Gossip Girl, and to use your influence with the CW network to keep them from airing this kind of content in the future.
In a declaratory ruling last year, the FCC affirmed affiliates’ ability to pre-empt any network programming that is "unsatisfactory or unsuitable or contrary to the public interest." The record on this is clear: contracts between networks and their affiliates may not legally prevent preemption of programming that does not meet local community standards. As a station manager you not only have a right, but an obligation to preempt programs like Gossip Girl that fail to meet that standard.
If the episode airs as planned, I and other members of the Parents Television Council will contact every sponsor with our concerns about the content as well as the Federal Communications Commission if it violates broadcast decency law.
May I remind you that it is you, not the CW network, that will bear the financial burden of an FCC fine should any of the content of the November 9 episode be found to violate broadcast decency laws.