Watchdog group says implied nudity on TV increased at alarming rate

Not all the nudes that pose for art students are living. Some are cadavers. At least embarrassment isn't a problem. istockphoto

(CBS/AP) NEW YORK - Implied nudity has increased over 400 percent since the 2010 to 2011 season, a watchdog group claims.

The Parents Television Council said Monday that its researchers found 76 instances where a person appeared nude, with private parts obscured, in prime time last season. It happened on 37 different shows. The group says that's a sharp rise from the 15 instances the networks aired the season before that.

"The networks have made it abundantly clear they have no intention of respecting either the broadcast licenses they've been granted or the public in whose interest they are licensed to serve," the group said in a press release. Therefore the American people, whose values are being assaulted on a nightly basis, must insist that the Federal Communications Commission vigorously enforce broadcast decency laws, as mandated by the Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court."

Seventy percent of the full nudity depicted scenes were on shows that aired before 9 p.m. and as early as 7 p.m. Only 76 percent of the shows had an "S" description on their rating, which is intended to warn parent about the content of the program.

The group looked at shows that appeared on air from September 1 to May 31 during the 2011 to 2012 primetime broadcast television season. Specials were included, but traditional news and sports were excluded.

Examples include a couple skinny-dipping on ABC's "The Bachelor," Howie Mandel jokingly appearing nude in his dressing room at NBC's "America's Got Talent" and a naked man jumping out of a car trunk in the candid camera show "Betty White's Off Their Rockers" on NBC.

In each case, the full nudity is obscured by pixilation or strategically placed objects. The use of pixilation went from two cases in 2010 to 2011 to 56 cases in 2011 to 2012, an increase of 2700 percent.

"It's a lot more suggestive than we've seen in the past," said Melissa Henson, spokeswoman for the group.

The parents group, which also monitors language and sexually suggestive content on broadcast television, said it will complain about the development to the Federal Communications Commission.

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