LOS ANGELES – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) have just filed a joint complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against Liberman Broadcasting, Inc. and KRCA, a broadcast television station serving the Los Angeles area.
The complaint is in response to a string of broadcasts of the Spanish-language television talk show "José Luis Sin Censura," which often contains indecent, profane, and obscene material, offensive language, nudity, and on-air verbal and physical attacks against women as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.
The organizations also launched an online action with the Women's Media Center (WMC) where concerned community members and allies can send e-mails to the FCC supporting the complaint or file their own complaints based on episodes they have witnessed.
In over twenty episodes that aired between June 18 and December 7, 2010, the program contained images and language of the nature that is never displayed or is bleeped out of pre-taped English-language programs of the same nature, including the words "pinche" ("f*cking" in English) and "culero" ("assf*cker"), anti-gay language, including epithets such as "maricón," "joto" and "puñal" (or "f*ggot"), and anti-Latino slurs, such as "mojado" ("wetback"). The program frequently featured blatant nudity and female guests have been shown in violent fights. Hypersexualized images of women's bodies while stripping for male guests and audience members also make up routine offerings. Guests and audience members were often incited to engage in verbal and even physical attacks, especially against people perceived to be LGBT. Many episodes showed the audience standing and shouting anti-gay epithets and profanity at guests.
"This is certainly not the standard being set by other Spanish-language news and entertainment media, most of which continue to improve in presenting stories of the LGBT community that grow acceptance," said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios. "It is extremely disturbing to see a show like 'José Luis Sin Censura' air this violent language with impunity and without any regard for the safety of our community. At a time when LGBT youth and adults face harassment and violence, it is unacceptable for media to fuel such a climate of intolerance about our community."
Last year, GLAAD issued a Call to Action against the program after a June 8 episode showed the audience repeatedly shouting "maricón" and "puñal" ("f*ggot") at a guest. The same pattern then occurred just two days later on June 10. GLAAD took action and nearly 1,000 supporters sent a petition registering their concerns with the show and LBI. In 2005, GLAAD led protests against the show which prompted KFC, Chevrolet and Nissan to pull advertising.
"I am outraged that Liberman Broadcasting is airing this filth at any time of day, no less in the middle of the day when our children are likely to be in the audience," stated NHMC's President and CEO, Alex Nogales. "This program is WAY overboard, and goes far beyond a fleeting moment of expletives or nudity. This is pre-taped, pre-meditated smut, designed to do nothing more than titillate and shock the audience. I have never seen anything like this on English-language television – José Luis makes Jerry Springer look like Mr. Rogers."
Nogales added, "I am alarmed that José Luis seems to normalize violence and hate against LGBT people. At a time when so much hate is being directed towards Latinos in this country, we know firsthand that hate and violence have no place in our dialogue." Nogales, a long-time critic of what he sees as a pattern of weak FCC enforcement of its rules against Spanish-language broadcasters, was also responsible for urging the FCC to levy the largest fine ever against a Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision, who in 2007 paid $24 million for failing to follow FCC rules.
Julie Burton, President of the Women's Media Center said that "Programming that is this misogynistic can't even be called television anymore – This is pornographic, and we're here to ensure it's no longer flying under the radar. As women fight for representation and rights internationally, we need to make sure we're modeling equality in the United States. Such objectification harms all women, but has a disproportionate impact on girls."
"José Luis Sin Censura" airs twice daily, Monday – Friday, in thirty-seven markets throughout the country. The show is produced and distributed by Burbank, CA-based LBI, Liberman Broadcasting Inc.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) amplifies the voice of the LGBT community by empowering real people to share their stories, holding the media accountable for the words and images they present, and helping grassroots organizations communicate effectively. By ensuring that the stories of LGBT people are heard through the media, GLAAD promotes understanding, increases acceptance, and advances equality. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org.
About the NHMC:
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a non-profit, media advocacy organization established in 1986 in Los Angeles, California. Its mission is to improve the image of American Latinos as portrayed by the media, increase the number of American Latinos employed in all facets of the media industry, and advocate for media and telecommunications policies that benefit the Latino community. For more information, please visit www.nhmc.org.
About the WMC:
Women's Media Center (WMC) was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem to positively impact the visibility of women in the media, amplify women's voices on key issues in the national dialogue, fight sexism and bias against women in the media, and increase professional opportunities for women across all forms of media. Through training, advocacy, and the development of original content, WMC is breaking through the status quo so that media more accurately represents the perspectives, positions, and priorities of women.