Profanity on TV “turns it into something crass,” says F-bomb-dropping “Idol” judge as Supreme Court begins indecency case
Should the U.S. Supreme Court let free speech run rampant on the nation's airwarves?
F— no, according to Steven Tyler.
With the highest court in the land hearing a case on Tuesday that will determine the constitutionality of the FCC's current standards about profanity and nudity on television, Aerosmith frontman and "American Idol" judge Tyler made an impassioned plea for restraint and decorum via Fox 411.
And he did so with language that would make a sailor blush.
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"If you start surfing channel to channel and you're on NBC and it's (expletive) and channel 4 and it's (expletive) and channel 7 and it's (expletive), it wouldn't be fun to surf," Tyler told Fox.
And as far as graphic displays of flesh go, Tyler opines, "There's a certain charm and passion and magic in not showing full-frontal nudity."
Of course, Tyler doesn't always practice what he preaches — in April 2011, he famously dropped an F-bomb after watching "Idol" contestant Casey Abrams perform.
"I have (cursed on air) a couple times, because it is 2012," Tyler conceded to Fox, but a constant barrage of salty talk " "turns it into something crass," the singer opines.
The case, which the Supreme Court began hearing Tuesday, stems from the rules that the FCC announced in 2004, in reaction to separate instances of profanity and nudity aired on Fox and ABC. (Fox's infractions included Cher uttering the F-word on the Billboard Music Awards in 2002, followed by Nicole Richie letting fly with the potty-talk a year later; ABC drew the commission's wrath by airing actress Charlotte Ross' buttocks on an episode of "NYPD Blue.")
The networks argue that the FCC guidelines are so vague as to constitute a First Amendment violation.
As Chief Justice John Roberts and his benchmates began to hear the case Tuesday, a small group of protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement showed up in front of the Supreme Court to stump for free speech, shouting slogans such as, "You can kill people half a world away, but you can't say 'fuck.'"
As for Tyler's prediction, the ample-lipped warbler believes that the court will allow "certain words, and that's that."