Back to News & Commentary

You've Got to be Pretty Quick to See the Fleeting Penis

Bryan Fisher,
Washington Legislative Office
Share This Page
October 2, 2008

The Parents Television Council (PTC) is once again trying to be every American's parent by raising a so-called "indecency" claim against CBS's show Survivor. The PTC complaint is the result of a millisecond view of a contestant's penis, which flopped — fleetingly, unintentionally, and entirely un-sexually — from his running shorts while he sprinted to the finish in an Immunity Challenge.

Kudos to the eagle-eyed monitors at the PTC: We were watching his shorts pretty closely too, and we didn't see a thing! But the PTC is right, because when you slow down the tape, and cue up the right millisecond, there it is! (Judge for yourself here. But remember that this is the slowed-down version of the tape. You can barely see it in real time).

Sure, they can make the case that the contestant should have been wearing a jock strap (as most men, as a matter of comfort, would prefer). But surprise, surprise, he didn't have one on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean, hundreds of miles from the nearest Target.

The scene of the penis that fleetingly flopped came complete with a seemingly adorable grandmother in the background, apparently uncorrupted by the spectacle.

The PTC hasn't had a conniption like this since Janet Jackson's breast fleetingly graced international television. They said Janet Jackson's breast could be construed as obscene and corrupting, but I didn't think so, the ACLU didn't think so, and a federal court didn't think so either.

Fleeting, clearly unintentional, and un-sexual: I leave it to the folks at PTC to explain how this Survivor slip corrupts anyone. Until then, the government, and the PTC, should stay out of our living rooms.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page