AFTRA Members Help Derail Bill to Impose
Indecency Fines on Individual Americans
WASHINGTON, DC (June 7, 2006)—Members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) successfully derailed legislation that would impose fines on individual Americans for broadcast decency violations as the U.S. House of Representatives agreed today with a Senate version of the bill that limits fines for decency violations to only broadcast stations.
"For over two years, performers, announcers, and journalists have been squarely in the crosshairs of those who advocate censorship. While the industry talked about ratings systems and v-chips, AFTRA members were the first to speak out against fines on individuals. We're tremendously gratified that Congress has wisely chosen not to censor individual speech," said Thomas R. Carpenter, AFTRA National Director of Legislative Affairs.
“Considering the tremendous pressure in Congress to pass an indecency law this year, it’s a great victory to keep performer fines and license forfeiture out of indecency legislation, which would have been devastating to AFTRA members,” Carpenter said.
Efforts over the past 18 months by AFTRA members to prevent adoption of performer fines and license forfeiture in indecency legislation included thousands of email messages to senators, testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, face-to-face meetings with senators and their staffers, and targeted communications to key senators on the Commerce Committee.
The legislation now moves from Congress to the President who’s expected to sign the bill into law.
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists—affiliated with the AFL-CIO—is a diverse national union representing over 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, cable, sound recordings, commercials, non-broadcast/industrials, interactive games, and other digital media . For more information, visit AFTRA online at www.aftra.com.