The Creative Coalition Statement on The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act (HR 310)

The Creative Coalition Statement on

The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act (HR 310)

New York City (February 9, 2005) – The Creative Coalition’s Co-Presidents actor Joe Pantoliano and actor/director Tony Goldwyn made the following statements in regard to today’s passage of the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act (HR 310) by the U.S. House House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Statement of Joe Pantoliano, Co-President The Creative Coalition

“This is a legislative overreaction by the House Commerce Committee to the problem of broadcast indecency.  This bill would do to today’s performers what was done to Lenny Bruce years ago — silence us through financial fear and intimidation.  The people that this legislation will hurt are the American viewing and listening public.  The quality of television, radio and live performances will suffer because entertainers like me won’t be able to perform on the broadcast airwaves for fear of losing our homes and lifesavings.  Congress seems to be under the impression that all performers are multimillionaires but it is just not true; many artists average less than $35,000 a year and could face personal bankruptcy.

“But the legislation isn’t limited to performers– these outrageous fines could be applied to any American citizen who runs afoul of the vague broadcast decency standards.  And that’s the problem– nobody knows where the line between decency and indecency is.  Americans should take no comfort in the fact that the $500,000 is defined as a ceiling–we’re all at the whim of the FCC.

“I hope that this legislation does not pass but in case it does, I want to publicly call it baloney before doing so would force me to take out a second mortgage on my house,”

Statement of Tony Goldwyn, Co-President The Creative Coalition

“Today’s action represents a serious setback to constitutionally protected free speech over the public’s airwaves.  This bill, even before it becomes law, is having a profound chilling effect on freedom of expression, as networks, performers and ordinary citizens exercise in overly cautious self-censorship to the detriment of the nation’s creative output and national dialogue.”

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Contacts: Yael Oestreich

(212) 614-2527 (310)600-6999