ABC stirs controversy with f-bombs (and pretty much anything) in digital shows

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |

NEW YORK (Christian Examiner) – The f-bomb is prohibited on primetime television under FCC regulations, but Disney affiliated ABC-TV has found a way around that in recent weeks by placing content on its website that contains just about every coarse word – and that content is available without any sort of parental control.

The digital shows last about seven minutes and are not broadcast on ABC TV. The only way to watch them is online or through one of the network's mobile apps.

The very first line in the new online series Boondoggle includes the f-word – and it's not bleeped. reported the controversy.

Boondoggle is one of seven original short-form digital shows, and more than 40 others are in development, Fortune reported. ABC will make money on the programs through online ads.

"All of this allows us to expand beyond the bounds of our linear schedule and extend ABC storytelling to viewers across screens and platforms," said ABC's senior vice president of digital media, Karin Gilford

But the Parents Television Council, a TV watchdog organization, blasted the direction of the new digital shows.

"The entertainment industry's usual response to parental concerns [in broadcast TV] has been to say 'use the V-Chip' or 'do your job and be a parent,'" the PTC said in a statement. "But smartphones don't have a V-Chip; and of course parents are totally unable to be with their children every second of every minute of every day, looking over their shoulders and seeing what they watch on their phone."

Boondoggle stars Ty Burrell of Modern Family. Apparently, anything goes in the new shows.

"By producing profanity-soaked content and dumping it on the web unfiltered, Disney is acting irresponsibly toward the millions of teens and children who use smartphones," the PTC said.

For more information on children's access to such programming, check out the agreement on the Disney/ABC Television Group website.