Complaints To FCC About ‘The Simpsons’ About What You’d Expect From People Who Hate ‘The Simpsons’

  What Good Is An Agency That Doesn't Ban Shows I Don't Like?

Also, there are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.Dear Advertisers, I am disgusted with the way old people are depicted on television. We are not all vibrant, fun loving sex maniacs. Many of us are bitter, resentful individuals who remember the good old days when entertainment was bland and inoffensive. The following is a list of words I never want to hear on television again. Number one: bra. Number two: horny. Number three: family jewels.

Sincerely,

Abe Simpson

P.S.: I am NOT a crank.

The nice people at Governmentattic.org recently posted a collection of complaints to the FCC about The Simpsons received between 2008 and 2012; it’s a follow-up to an earlier FOIA request for complaints from 2003-2007. We were struck by how many of the complaints sounded like they could have come from Abe Simpson — in fact, we briefly considered setting this piece up as a “can you tell the real FCC complaint from an Abe Simpson complaint letter?” kind of thing, but frankly, Abe’s complaints hold together more logically.

We’re trying to determine what insights about the American Viewing Audience these complaints reveal. Mostly, we think the American Viewing Audience is really fond of the caps lock and exclamation point keys.

  • Date: 6/17/2007
    Location: Not given
    Complaint: THE FCC NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS NOW AND FAST IT IS TERRIBLE AND WRONG TO WHAT HAPPENED AND THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT GETTING PUNISHED AT ALL, I AM DISUSTED AND HORRIFIED AT WHAT HAPPENED. FOX ALLOWED THE SIMPSONS TO AIR THIS SUNDAY NIGHT JUNE 17 AT 730 PM THAT WAS RATED PG AND IT SHOWED SOMEBODY WEARING S AND M GEAR ON THE SHOW THIS IS TERRIBLE, DISGUSTIING, AND DEGENRATE FOR OUR CHILDREN TO WATCH THE SHOW IS TV PG SO KIDS 8 YEARS OLD AND UP ARE WATCHING THIS AND WE MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT I AM GOING TO I ALREADY MADE A PETITION AND IF ANYMORE OF THESE DISGUSTING EPISDOES OR DISGUSTING FOOTAGE IS SHOWN THAT BREAKS THE FCC CONTRACT AND RULES AND GUIDELINES, THERE WILL BE DIRE CONSEQUENCES. [It goes on Like this for a while more, and closes:] FINE THAT STATION OR AT LEAST MAKE SURE NO MORE SMUT AND GARBAGE AND INDENCENT DEFAMING PROGRAMMING IS SHOWN WHEN BABIES ARE WATCHING TELEVISION AT 7 PM SHOWING S AND M.

Six years later, and the Republic still stands, somehow.

  • Date: 10/29/2007
    Location: Louisville, KY
    Complaint: While watching the world Series. Fox advertised for the Simpson. The Commercial shows a homosexual encounter with an alien. I think this is inappropriate for the audience that would be watching this program.

Not sure if homosexual alien encounters with aliens are inappropriate for viewers of The Simpsons or of the World Series.

  • Date: 11/22/2005
    Location: Kingsbury, TX
    Complaint: This is only one instance of many. Bart Simpson uses sexual innuendos and similarly degrading talk throughout his
    ‘skits’ to further destroy what’s left of our American culture! I’m sure you realize that our culture is what we use to
    pass on our values and traditions and heritage, all of which literally keep us going — surviving! You I contend are
    letting us down by allowing this precious culture to be degraded and destroyed. Please do your job or we all will
    suffer. Thank you!

What about the culture? Won’t someone please think of the culture?

  • Date: 8/1/2006
    Location Eureka, CA
    Complaint: In this episode, the students of Springfield Elementary School have revolted against the teachers and administrators, taking ‘control’ of the school. The students eventually catch Principal Skinner in the gym… one of the students empties out a large brown-colored drawstring bag that is filled with various sports balls (soccerballs/basketballs/voleyballs etc). Mr Skinner is then placed inside the empty sack and the drawstring was pulled snug around his neck, leaving only his neck and head outside of the bag. My concern, and the basis for this complaint, is in the manner of how the image of Principal Skinner was depicted after he had been placed into this bag and the drawstring pulled. The image of the large drawstring bag very clearly, and undeniably, resembled a non-circumcised penis (flaccid state). Mr Skinner’s height was the reason for the length of the brown sack, depicted the ‘shaft’ and where the sack tapered from Mr Skinner’s shoulders up to his neck where the drawstring had been pulled into a ‘pucker’ depicted the foreskin… [Later in the episode,] Principal Skinner, still inside of a sack drawn to resemble an intact penis, then said to the squirrel:; “Mr. Nibbles, would you please come here and cut my ball sack:’; The secondary intention of Principal Skinner’s statement should be obvious, but since description is key to an effective complaint, I will briefly elaborate… -Principal Skinner’s use of the term “ball sack” would have been a ‘double entendre’ intended to refer to the male anatomical part of ‘scrotum’, which is commonly referred to as “ball sac”.

The amount of thought that went into each detail of this complaint is strangely touching. Somehow, the complainant said nothing about another line in the same episode, where Groundskeeper Willie exclaims, “OK Skinner, that’s the last time you’ll slap your Willie around. I quit!”

  • Date: 12/17/2004
    Location: Not Given
    Complaint: The Simpsons cartoon features two women in swimsuits. While there were no nudity, this scene certainly was
    inapropriate because women should be dressed conservatively and obey the wishes of their husbands.

We weren’t even aware that The Simpsons aired in Riyadh.

  • Date: 3/6/2011
    Location: Not Given
    Complaint: This Episode shows the hillbilly girl pregnant, drinking, and smoking. I am concerned young pregnancies will be given false information and take it the wrong way thinking this type of action is alright to do. There is so many pregnancies in todays society ending in shame of bad parenting when they have drank and smoked during their pregnancies … The television should be limited to things like this putting ideas into those young girls minds. Take into consideration to limit the amount of swearing and horrible sick humour about bad pregnancies such as this episode and family guys “prom night dumpster babies” THEY SHOULD BAN IT ALL!

Pregnancies should be warned to carefully evaluate the prenatal health tips they get from animated cartoons.

  • Date: 2/14/2011
    Location: Miami, FL
    Complaint: In the episode, Homer Simpson is imagining unpleasant things that could happen while being uninsured. Among the things Homer was also imagining was Marge Simpson having a lesbian kiss with another woman.This is a show which audiences from as young as 4 years old watch frequently. Because of its animated format and theme of the story (happenings of a middle class family), this is naturally accepted by many parents as an acceptable program for children. The image of Marge Simpson kissing another woman is indecent and the episode should be banned from broadcast to prevent children from seeing this.

Now being uninsured leads to lesbian kisses. THANKS OBAMACARE.

  • Date: 12/05/2010
    Location; Colorado Springs, CO
    Complaint: There was an episode of The Simpsons that featured marijuana leaves being fed to a train as fuel. This is very concerning since it glamorizes drug use to children that may be watching.

This is your train. This is your train on drugs. Any questions?

  • Date: 11/9/2010
    Location: Chicago, IL
    Complaint: Language used was the concern. Talking about taking a poop, found this offensive. Another was having to take a pee, found offensive as well. Need to use better language as in the past when language was more pure.

In my day, we called it “sending a care package to the Kaiser.”

  • Date: 10/17/2010
    Location: Baltimore, MD
    Complaint: during the simpsons a commercial aired for schick which publically aired shots of a woman’s barely covered vagina area of a woman in her underwear which barely covered her vagina with her legs gaped wide open all of which was obscene&lewd&pornographic&unnecessary. you used to have to buy pornographic magazines in order to see female nudity like that while surprise the male was fully covered.

We’re pretty sure they just liked typing “vagina” a whole lot. Or is the complaint that the male isn’t also in underpants, so that they can type “penis” several times.

  • Date: 10/08/2010
    Location: Chicago, IL
    Complaint: One line was about whipping someone’s toosh.

This complaint required a great deal of chootzpah.

  • Date: 10/3/20 2010
    Location: League City TX
    Complaint: I Don’t Think So, Mr. Simpson, Because I Would Make 20th Century Fox Film Corporation Take This Evil Show Off The Air Only To Get Small Wonder Back Onto The Channel Every Sunday Night.
  • Viewer yearns for the return of a sitcom that ceased production in 1989. Cant they just be satisfied with the fan fiction?
    (Of course there’s fan fiction.)

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    • andreamd

      I don’t want to hear viagra, cialis or evitra, any ads for adult diapers or the need to constantly pee. AND no more bears needing toilet paper and evaluating it

      • crazymonkeylady

        I still enjoy my Hoveround commercials and my stool softener to this very day…

    • Jason Mozak

      I just now realized “Disqus” is “discuss”. Per this article, when you guys do one of your political stories, and you do the gag about where the representative is from, I vote you do (R- Flaccid State).

    • Skwerl King

      I feel sorry for these shut-ins. Ten minutes in my neighborhood and they would see that 1962 ended fifty years ago.

    • VandeGraf

      This is easily remedied. You don’t like it, don’t watch it. You don’t want your kids to watch it, turn it off. Aren’t we begin harangued enough about “liberty” these days? There’s a whole lot of “don’t tell me what to do” followed hot-on-the-heels by “you can’t do that, you have to do this instead” and “I don’t like your doing that, so it violates my freedom to live in a world free of your doing that”l The hypocrisy is incredible. [ Candidly, I think most TV sucks, but that's me. Makes it easier to stick to rabbit ears and only watch in case of emergency.]

      • Rebecca Kleitz

        HA! You can’t USE rabbit ears anymore.
        Now, you HAVE to have a 50 dollar “cable” box that only allows you to pick up local and PBS channels.
        We’re TRAPPED like RAATS!!!!

        (I just watch online stuff….lol)

    • JParkerSD46

      Let’s see…here’s a suggestion. Turn it off (I so wanted to use all caps and lots of !). Good comedy and satire is healthy and fun, but it does require an open mind. I’m truly much more offended by obscene and sadistic violence that’s pretty wide-spread these days. I know I can’t change what’s popular, so, hey, guess what? I don’t watch it. My problem solved. BTW, was the first listed message sent by ee cummings of Bizarro World?

    • JeffWest

      Frankly, I find it impossible to watch male and female cartoon characters portrayed as being different genders without picturing their different cartoon genitals. So I demand all Simpsons cartoons characters be made the same gender so I don’t have poles & holes invading my brain. Thank you, destroyers of America.

    • Sean

      I just saw the latest Treehouse of Horror episode and the last story was a brilliant satire of the 1932 movie “Freaks”

      • Rebecca Kleitz

        Ha! I have “Freaks” protected on my dvr…
        Gooble goble gooble goble GOOBLE GOBLE GOOBLE GOBLE!
        YOU’RE ONE OF US, NOW!!!

        • Sean

          That Simpsons episode is still available on Hulu right now if you haven’t seen it.

      • hageesheart

        I actually clapped when chicken-Homer ends it all with “And that, kids, is how I met your mother!” My girlfriend thought I was crazy.

    • Rebecca Kleitz

      Yeah, I never heard of it either–and I really don’t care enough to Goggle it…lol…

    • Rebecca Kleitz

      Texass, Alabama, and South Carolina?

    • AnOuthouse

      Driving that train, high on …, well just really high.

    • Rebecca Kleitz

      This, right here, is a classic comments thread.
      Just sayin’….

    • hageesheart

      Who gets to read these for a living? I want to do that job. I also want to reply to them, happily, in vague and authoritative tones that promise nothing but nonetheless thank them for their participation in American civic life.

      Also, I’m the one that cancelled Star Trek.

    • crazymonkeylady

      The Complainers just want their husbands to stop masturbating when they see Marge doing housework and wearing camel toe undies…

    • natl_[redacted]_cmdr

      “The image of the large drawstring bag very clearly, and undeniably, resembled a non-circumcised penis (flaccid state).”

      I guess I missed that the first 50 times I watched that episode. Also, “Mr Skinner’s height was the reason for the length of the brown sack…” lolwut?