In an unfortunate turn of events, Mötley Crüe has decided to bring the issue of indecency to the courts. The band filed a whiney lawsuit against NBC, who blacklisted the band from appearing on the network ever since frontman Vince Neil let "happy fucking New Year" loose during the New Year's Eve 2004 broadcast of The Tonight Show. Mötley Crüe claims the ban is illegal and seeks damages incurred as a result of it, accusing NBC of censorship in an effort to dodge scrutiny by the FCC.
Although it's high time that the nebulous definition of indecency was tested in the courts, this particular case is not a very strong one. NBC is going to claim that Mötley Crüe violated the network's own internal policies regarding indecency, leaving any FCC-related concerns by the wayside. Not to mention the absurdity of suing a TV station because you weren't invited to appear... Following that line of logic, most of us would have a case against NBC.
We were hoping that both artists and networks would combine their efforts to challenge indecency in the courts, since it's always good for any cause to be backed by a wealthy multi-national media empire or two. Hey, the networks are the ones being fined, so it is definitely in their interest to push the envelope in favor of nailing down a real definition of indecency. For examples of stronger cases that we wish would make it to court in place of the Mötley Crüe suit, read Station Manager Ken's brief history of the FCC's flirtation with fuck by clicking here, or read this post for info on other broadcast incidents worthy of a challenge.