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Family Guy censorship


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I just found out that apparently the TV and Netflix versions of the episode Meg and Quagmire censored a scene of a girl wetting herself by replacing her with a pregnant girl who gives birth on the spot and spins her baby around by its umbilical cord! How is that any better? Isn't that far worse? And why did they "censor" this but not the way underage Eliza wetting herself in One If By Clam, Two If By Sea? Whoever's in charge of the TV edits by Season 10 must hate wetting as much as youtube does, above all else.

Edited by The Dark Wolf (see edit history)
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So, there isn't any almighty FCC sensor sitting in some high office somewhere allowing, or disallowing specific content.  Rather, the FCC simply hands down penalties should a broadcaster break the rules.  The issue here are the rules relating to what is indecent, what is profane, and what is obscene.  Content deemed to be obscene is not allowed in any way, ever.  Indecent and profane content may be allowed in some very specific situations, but not others.  Unfortunately, the FCC doesn't provide a clear definition for what content qualifies for being indecent, profane, or obscene.  Instead, there are various tests, often contradictory and dated, that must be applied to the content to determine if it is allowable.  Through numerous court cases where the FCC has penalized broadcasters, the broadcasters have fought back, what qualifies as actionable by the FCC relies on the interpretation of numerous court decisions.

In an attempt to avoid action by the FCC, broadcast networks employ offices of lawyers who specialize in this issue.  This is the network's standards and practices division, and it is these lawyers who either allow, or disallow, specific scenes and content.  When it comes to evaluating a scene, the context is of utmost important.  The same exact content in one case might be allowable, but in a different context not allowed.  A recent example of this from the past couple weeks that networks are dealing with is in quoting president Trump who used the word "bullshit" in an official address.  In this case, quoting an official address by the president of the United States is not considered profane, from an FCC point of view, regardless of what he says because of the social and political value of it and because the FCC is very sensitive to being seen as a censorship organization, especially one that would censor the news.  However, using the word "bullshit" in a scripted scene of a dramatic television show would likely be considered profane, and thus actionable by the FCC.

The FCC and the courts have been especially sensitive of topics of sexuality, especially what they consider "deviant" sexuality.  Even as recently as the mid-1990s a simple kiss between two same-sex partners was considered indecent by the FCC.  So anything that is remotely fetish-y really gets the FCC worked up, and the networks' standards and practices divisions will work really hard to avoid that.  In the case of wetting, having a young child wet herself in the case of One If by Clam, Two If by Sea, is presented in a completely non-sexual way.  The girl is a toddler, and toddlers frequently have wetting accidents.  The purpose of the scene is also to remind the audience that this character is, after all, just a toddler.  However, a wetting scene in a more sexualized context would set off the alarm bells at standards and practices.

Content creators, especially the ones at Family Guy, like to point out the extreme hypocrisy and over sensitivity to the way sexual content is prohibited, but not other things that could be considered highly offensive.  A primary way of doing this is by replacing a scene that was prohibited for reasons regarding sexuality with a scene that is highly offensive, but technically allowable.  That would seem likely to be the case here, where a mild wetting scene and perhaps a crude comment from Quagmire is replaced something most of us would fine far more offensive, swinging a newborn around by its umbilical cord.

 

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I thought sexual references weren't a problem in Family Guy, it's full of them. Is wetting really more obscene than anything else they did that got on TV? (sarcastic) That'll really help those of us who like wetting feel better about it. Plus why did they allow Eliza's wetting in there?

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3 minutes ago, The Dark Wolf said:

I thought sexual references weren't a problem in Family Guy, it's full of them. Is wetting really more obscene than anything else they did that got on TV? (sarcastic) That'll really help those of us who like wetting feel better about it. Plus why did they allow Eliza's wetting in there?

Its not just the matter of sexual references.  It is "deviant" sexuality that really triggers the FCC and the networks' Standards and Practices offices.  Vanilla heterosexual sex, as long as you don't show too much, is all good.  Add in some kinks like role playing or bondage, well, now your starting to flirt with dangerous territory, but as long as the ultimate payoff is still heterosexual intercourse, that is fine.  Even then, you better not show too much of the bondage.  Once you start getting into other kinks though, you really better not be showing any depictions of them at all.

Eliza's wetting was allowed because it was in a completely non-kinky/non-sexual context.  She peed her pants because she was a toddler, and toddlers pee themselves.  The wetting only served to remind the audience that this character was a child.  It was not supposed to be sexual in any way at all.  As I said in my previous post, it is all about the context of the scene.

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I'm surprised that a brief clip of non-sexual wetting played for laughs in a comedy cartoon would even be seen as sexual, to be honest, much less deviant. The South Park episode where Randy ends up covered in semen after jacking off to Brazilian fart porn was far more out there.

Edited by PooSkirt (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, PooSkirt said:

I'm surprised that a brief clip of non-sexual wetting played for laughs in a comedy cartoon would even be seen as sexual, to be honest, much less deviant. The South Park episode where Randy ends up covered in semen after jacking off to Brazilian fart porn was far more out there.

I would imagine the issue with Family Guy and this scene was Quagmire- He has previously hinted at sexually enjoying female urination, including upping his bid at a police auction for panties that a prostitute peed in and spying on women using the bathroom.  A quick wetting scene played for laughs, by itself, probably would have been okay, but again, context is everything.

South park is an entirely different situation.  The FCC rules and regulations pertain to what is broadcast and receivable over the public airwaves.  Southpark is not broadcast over the public airwaves, at least not in any manner that falls under the FCC's content authority.

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5 hours ago, TVGuy said:

because the FCC is very sensitive to being seen as a censorship organization

hee hee

3 hours ago, TVGuy said:

Its not just the matter of sexual references.  It is "deviant" sexuality that really triggers the FCC and the networks' Standards and Practices offices. 

yeah, this is the pain with wetting clips, the standards the fcc set are based largely on ideas of sexual moraliy that I (and i presume many people here since we share this obscure fetish) would find foriegn. Just the fact that it is seen as deviant is enough to set them off. I'm in the UK and OFCOM (our nearest match) cause similar pain for networks.

Edited by Alnitak (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, The Dark Wolf said:

And also why didn't they censor Bulma wetting herself in the edited version of Dragon Ball's pilot episode (where they censored a lot of other stuff)? She was considerably older than Eliza.

From my understanding of this thread the reason would be that for the general audience, Bulma wetting herself wasn’t a sexual scene. In the context of the episode she mentions leaving to pee, then gets kidnapped, then has an accident that isn’t shown in detail. 

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But if they think wetting for fetish purposes is worse than child abuse or making fun of people in wheelchairs, does that mean we are bad people for having this fetish? Because that's the impression they're giving me right now and if this isn't the case, shame on them for making me - and probably many others - think it was.

Edited by The Dark Wolf (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, The Dark Wolf said:

But if they think wetting for fetish purposes is worse than child abuse or making fun of people in wheelchairs, does that mean we are bad people for having this fetish? Because that's the impression they're giving me right now and if this isn't the case, shame on them for making me - and probably many others - think it was.

No, not at all a bad person for liking wetting.  This is one of the missions we have at HD Wetting, to combat these attitudes.  It is also why Family Guy does things like replace a wetting scene with a child abuse scene, to point out how absolutely nonsensical such censorship is.  No one in their right mind would even  begin to think that the wetting scene would be more offensive than a newborn baby being used as a boomerang, but the legal patchwork of arbitrary decisions has created such an environment for truly befuddling censorship decisions, which Family Guy intentionally wanted to illustrate.

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11 hours ago, The Dark Wolf said:

I wonder whether Ikki Tousen even aired on TV then. The wettings there were clearly fetish-based.

It aired on a premium uncensored cartoon channel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT-X_(company)

"As a premium channel AT-X is also known for showing uncensored versions of several anime like Fight Ippatsu! Jūden-chan!!, Amaenaideyo!!, Girls Bravo, Elfen Lied, Mahoromatic and High School DxD which would normally get censored on TV-stations like TV-Tokyo because of the large amount of nudity and other factors."

EDIT: Apparently it did later get shown on regular Japanese TV, but I'd imagine it was probably censored. Cartoons like that are usually broadcast at the dead of night there when children won't be watching, so they might be more willing to show such material.

Edited by PooSkirt (see edit history)
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12 hours ago, PooSkirt said:

EDIT: Apparently it did later get shown on regular Japanese TV, but I'd imagine it was probably censored. Cartoons like that are usually broadcast at the dead of night there when children won't be watching, so they might be more willing to show such material.

It should also be noted that the FCC and their enforcement actions, as well as broadcast networks' standards and practices divisions, and the patchwork of court decisions narrowing down what is indecent and not, is all from a strictly U.S. based public broadcast perspective.  Japan would, of course, have entirely different standards that would have nothing to do with the FCC or U.S. broadcast networks.

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Japan generally has much laxer standards of censorship across most media compared to the US, just look at how many shounen and shoujo anime(both targetted at the 8-14 demographic in Japan) either get butchered or get a Teen(or even Mature) rating when brought to the US and how the number of anime airing on American broadcast television(and youth-oriented cable channels) has decreased as dubbers have shifted to doing the latter more than the former... not that them leaving Bulma's blink and you'll miss it accident in the censored for television version of Dragonball's dub is even the only example of weirdly inconsistent censorship in dubbed anime(Other examples from the Dragonball franchise include them cutting Bulma showing her naked crotch to Roshi while leaving in his request to see her panties, parts of the frieza Saga censoring fresh blood but leaving dry blood in, and some examples from other heavily censored 90s anime include some female monsters of the day in Sailormoon gaining extra clothes or having shots of cleavage/exposed thigh but leaving the transformation sequences mostly in-tact or changing Uranus and Neptune from a lesbian couple to cousins in dialogue but leaving most of the subtext in-tact... or how Nelvana's attempts to censor Senomi's crush on Nedeshiko upgrade her from crushing on her cousin to crushing on her sister(and by extension, Tomoyo from crushing on her second cousin to crushing on her first cousin).

As for Ikki Tousen, if it ever aired on television state side, I suspect it was on one of the more obscure cable channels, possibly one that was only ever included in premium cable and satellite packages.

As for Family Guy, there's been a Fox version and an adult-Swim version for many years, possibly dating back to when the show was first uncancelled or first had new episodes after it started syndication on Adult-Swim, and I can remember scratching my head over a number of scenes that were removed or altered for the stricter standards Fox, as a broadcast channel, had to work under.

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That's not true at all generally. You're describing a bunch of children's shows there which were edited to market to a children's demographic in the USA; the treatment of genuinely adult material is not really more lenient. In The Realm Of The Senses had to be made in France to avoid Japanese censorship laws in the 1970s, and certain adult-oriented cartoons like the ones I listed weren't broadcast uncut on Japanese TV other than a certain premium channel. That's not to mention the rule that genitals in porn must be blurred, though these days with the internet it's not taken that seriously anymore since uncensored porn is easily accessible. There are also strict laws against explaining or advocating drug use in Japan. The USA is generally far less censored.

 

Edited by PooSkirt (see edit history)
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I seem to remember the third season of Sailor Moon didn't even get censored in the US (other than censoring homosexuality by making Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune cousins), like they positioned the Pure Heart stealing part of a monster on her breast and explicitly showed it, and I think suggestive panty shots with some of the other monsters when they steal Pure Hearts, and Sailor Uranus nude from behind when she de-transforms. Of course the second season censored Chibiusa wetting the bed. (Though Family Guy is 14A while Sailor Moon as it originally aired was meant to be kid-friendly, except Season 3 for some reason)

Also Dragon Ball isn't kid-friendly in its uncut form, they just tried to make it so when they aired it in the US but still left in Bulma wetting herself. (I never saw much of Dragon Ball, I just heard about Bulma's pee accident which led me to look into it so I don't know what else they did and didn't censor especially since the edited version doesn't exist anymore but I was able to confirm they didn't censor that)

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50 minutes ago, PooSkirt said:

That's not true at all generally. You're describing a bunch of children's shows there which were edited to market to a children's demographic in the USA; the treatment of genuinely adult material is not really more lenient. In The Realm Of The Senses had to be made in France to avoid Japanese censorship laws in the 1970s, and certain adult-oriented cartoons like the ones I listed weren't broadcast uncut on Japanese TV other than a certain premium channel. That's not to mention the rule that genitals in porn must be blurred, though these days with the internet it's not taken that seriously anymore since uncensored porn is easily accessible. There are also strict laws against explaining or advocating drug use in Japan. The USA is generally far less censored.

 

Different cultures have different sensibilities, and censor their media in different ways.  In regards to porn in Japan and what is legal, it wasn't all that long ago that nude images of children could be sold, marketed towards pedophiles, as such images weren't considered obscene.  It was public hair that was offensive, but images of per-pubescent children were allowed.  Of course this has changed in recent decades, but I don't think one can truly say things are more censored in the U.S. or Japan, as what gets censored is simply different.

7 minutes ago, The Dark Wolf said:

I seem to remember the third season of Sailor Moon didn't even get censored in the US (other than censoring homosexuality by making Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune cousins), like they positioned the Pure Heart stealing part of a monster on her breast and explicitly showed it, and I think suggestive panty shots with some of the other monsters when they steal Pure Hearts, and Sailor Uranus nude from behind when she de-transforms. Of course the second season censored Chibiusa wetting the bed. (Though Family Guy is 14A while Sailor Moon as it originally aired was meant to be kid-friendly, except Season 3 for some reason)

Also Dragon Ball isn't kid-friendly in its uncut form, they just tried to make it so when they aired it in the US but still left in Bulma wetting herself. (I never saw much of Dragon Ball, I just heard about Bulma's pee accident which led me to look into it so I don't know what else they did and didn't censor especially since the edited version doesn't exist anymore but I was able to confirm they didn't censor that)

As far as I understand both Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon were never shown on broadcast U.S. television, only cable.  The FCC's enforcement authority in regards to indecency and profanity only extends to what is broadcast on the public airwaves.  Cable networks are more free to police themselves and decide what content is allowable or not, and not at the mercy of the same myriad of court decisions that inform what is allowed on the airwaves.

 

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And for the record, Family Guy put the "worse yet FCC-approved" scene in its place specifically to make a point about how messed up the FCC is and possibly how bad they make those of us with the fetish feel? (Likely part of why I and many others felt like we were bad people for even having the fetish) If so I might have gained a lot of respect for Family Guy.

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The DiC Dub of Sailormoon and Sailormoon R did air in syndication on some broadcast channels, but to my knowledge, the Cloverway dub of Sailormoon S and Sailormoon SuperS only ever aired on Cartoon Network's Toonami block. As such, it's highly likely S and SuperS saw less censorship compared to the earlier seasons. Still, I remember reading on the probably long defunct Sailormoon Uncensored that even some of S's monsters of the day had some of their cleavage shots edited... and yet I remember the season 1 episode where Zoisite disguises him/herself as Sailor moon leaving in a panty shot right before unmasking themselves... and I never realized how confusing pronouns can be for characters with dub-induced sex changes.

The first two seasons of dubbed Dragonball Z also aired in syndication, but it wasn't until they aired on Toonami that the series really took off in the west, and while still heavily censored, Season 3 onward of the dub was notably less censored, again likely due to no longer airing over the air.

I'll admit the thing about drug use being censored in some Japanese media is a bit surprising, especially with how often references to alcohol get censored in the worst of made for American television dubs, but I guess the double standard of treating Alcohol as distinct from other recreational drugs crosses cultural lines. As for censoring genitals in hentai, I'm aware of that, but that's in regards to media that's deemed adults only even in Japan and I was talking mainly about what would be considered children's or family entertainment over there.

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On 2/12/2020 at 1:43 AM, The Dark Wolf said:

And for the record, Family Guy put the "worse yet FCC-approved" scene in its place specifically to make a point about how messed up the FCC is and possibly how bad they make those of us with the fetish feel? (Likely part of why I and many others felt like we were bad people for even having the fetish) If so I might have gained a lot of respect for Family Guy.

Yes, it was mocking the FCC. I don't think the writers are probably into omorashi themselves, but they know it exists and it's not particularly serious.

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