'X Factor' hit with FCC complaint over nude contestant


Image Credit: Fox

A parents group announced it has filed a Federal Communications Commission complaint against Fox’s The X Factor for showing a contestant who exposed himself on stage.

In a pre-taped segment from the reality show’s two-hour Wednesday night premiere, contestant Geo Godley dropped his pants and sang for the judges and studio audience while apparently nude. The judges were appalled — Paula Abdul stormed off stage and appeared to be ill, saying the performance “literally made me sick,” while L.A. Reid declared, “that was offensive, disgusting, distasteful, upsetting — get him out of the building please!”

“Perhaps the ‘X’ in X Factor stands for the MPAA rating,” said PTC president Tim Winter, whose organization filed the complaint this morning. “If Godley performed his act in public, he would have been arrested. But if he performs it in front of a Fox camera, his act is beamed via the public airwaves into every home in the nation.”

Continued Winter:

“The prolonged, previously videotaped footage of a contestant dancing nude on the X Factor stage represents a conscious decision by the producers — with the approval of the network’s broadcast standards department — to intentionally air this content in front of millions of families during hours when they knew full well that children would be watching. Families were led to believe the X Factor would be family-friendly programming and instead were assaulted by graphic nudity.”

Except “graphic nudity” isn’t accurate — Fox put a large red “X” over Godley’s crotch during the sequence.

Said Godley after the performance: “I was in key, everything was going well,” he said. “My pants were down and I was jumping around and all of a sudden the audience turned against me. I don’t know what happened. I thought they’d like it.”

The complaint comes as broadcast decency laws are expected to be reviewed by the Supreme Court during its upcoming term. The Court will look at the FCC’s crackdown on “fleeting expletives” accidentally aired by broadcasters, a case stemming from a complaint against Fox which aired Cher and Nicole Richie saying the f-word during two separate telecasts of the Billboard Music Awards.

Fox has wrestled with the PTC several times in the past, over its reality shows and scripted fare like Family Guy. The network had no comment.

Comments (236 total) Add your comment
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  • CijiDunne

    This guy was disgusting. In fact, both my husband and I were so disgusted with this we turned the channel. Not blown away by the X-Factor at all. What I’ve seen so far as auditions make Idol look like they churn out superstarts. Not impressed. Not sure if we will even watch at all. Why wasn’t something done about this guy and why did they let him go on? Oh, wait… ratings…. don’t blame Paula for walking off. Totally gross.

    • Monty

      I’m torn. I make a habit of checking out things that piss off the PTC, but I also make a habit of avoiding terrible talent shows posing as entertaining tv. Hmmmm…decisions, decisions…

      • kissyou

        My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
        They met-via { himillionaires*c”o’M }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

      • CJWalker

        Dear Monty. I am disgusted by your use of the word “piss” in your last comment. I am leaving this discussion.

        PS: This is meant to make fun of CijiDunne, who is a complete dork for freaking out about something silly. it’s not like they showed his actual thing. Get over yourself. Go back to your Ricky Santorum Rally

      • Hehe

        Just like Paula,
        Oh it’s so disgusting but let me keep on looking and turn my head slightly to the left so they think I’m looking away. Get over it people!!! I bet if it had an uncensored version of it on the internet, the same people complaining would be looking it up. Well, if they haven’t already.

      • Aeol

        I thought it went on for way too long. They could have clipped it down but instead we were treated to three minutes of that crapola. They were clearly going for shock value and it was too much. I’m a liberal married gal with no kids who usually thinks the PTC can suck it, but even I was offended by Fox’s gratuitous actions.

      • Holly

        This is a non-issue. His thingy was covered up. So what’s the complaint? “Suggesting” a thingy? And Paula’s phony dry-heaves were just more fake drama. Please, you’re telling me Emelio never dropped his pants and did a cha cha for you back in the 80s?

      • G-Mom

        Well, X-Factor is a lousy talent show!! And btw, there were children in the AUDIENCE!! Was there a big “X” for them?? It’s pretty sad some of the responses I’ve read. Apparently decency is passe’ now.
        And would “the powers that be” PLEASE delete all these stupid “my best friend married a millionaire” type posts???

      • Dave

        Simon made AI what it was, and it wasn’t good when he left. However, X Factor is probably even worse than Idol. Paula getting “sick” over the contestant was pretty pathetic though…

    • nodnarb

      I was offended because he wasn’t attractive. Can they get not-Ryan Seacrest to drop trou next week?

      • Lyonequeen

        I’m offended because we didn’t see anything. For all we know he was wearing underwear. It was covered by a big red X. My goodness, people take themselves too seriously!

      • Holly

        Wow good point. Would there have been a complaint if it was a hot slim woman dancing naked? I donno…..

    • Puter

      It amazes me that people love Fox News for being so conservative, and Fox has this cache as being the voice of conservative America, yet the Fox Network CONTINUALLY violates decency and ticks off the most conservative familiy-oriented watchdog group in America. People: Fox isn’t conservative or liberal or anything else. All of their programming, across their entire spate of networks, is designed for one thing: To attract the largest number of viewers. Their only agenda is not political, it’s commercial, and they are duping you if you believe they are bastions for some political agenda. They promote that agenda because that’s where the viewers are, so that’s where the advertising dollars are. If it’ll get you to watch, they’ll air it. They’d air Hustler Magazine videos if they thought they could get away with it legally.

      • Get Over it

        I COULD ONLY WISH… You go FOX… Show what you want… I love it… All you tight asses should lighten up. You don’t like it, change the channel. Most of you complaining are in the closet anyway.

      • John M.

        Puter, speaking of which, to get off topic here, regarding the Fox “News” Channel, since they’re so conservative and hate liberalism, then why is it headquartered in NYC, which is arguably considered the most liberal city in America? Wouldn’t someplace like Dallas be a more appropriate venue since their “idol” currently lives there and most of their viewers resides there? Think about it. Isn’t it hypocritical for Fox “News” to remain in NYC, especially since gay marriage is legal there now? As for me, I prefer CNN. At least they’re based in Atlanta.

      • Holly

        Bullsey puter. FOX is so hypocritical. They make money from the schlock and make more from criticizing the schlock. Pretty much sums up the right- wing.

    • BobS

      Good Grief! He could have been wearing underwear for all you could tell! You couldn’t see anything and either could your precious children! Get over it! It was totally harmless!

      • Dominic

        Exactly. And if penises literally make Paula sick She might want to go lesbian.

        Clearly this is a ratings ploy. Pathetic.

      • KM

        For your information, you perverts, if you expose yourself in public, you get arrested. And Paula wouldn’t have reacted that way to underwear. There WERE children in the audience. This is not something to “get over.” Perhaps you guys ride the subways and drop trou and think it’s hilarious. Women DO NOT find this appealing.

    • lisa g

      Dangle dat Dang down do dis knees!

    • Juniper

      It wasn’t live TV. It was pre-taped and I think it was staged. The minute his pants dropped, security should’ve jumped in and yanked him out and had him arrested. Instead, they allowed him to continue while Paul “feigned” disgust, taped it, and aired it to a family audience. I wouldn’t be surprised if they paid that perv to do it. I heard he was never sent out of the building, he was walking around ordering food at the food court later on and acting like he had really impressed the world. I am shocked Simon was that desperate. Otherwise I thought the show was quite good and the acceptable contestants much more talented than Idol’s best. Shame on Simon though! You owe America an apology.

      • dajayosan

        Of course it was approved, staged, and presented. Imagine such a happening on say The Tonight Show or David Letterman. He would have been tackled, hauled away forcefully, then charged and prosecuted for indecent exposure. None of that happened. He was never stopped or hindered in any way until well into his performance. If any of you choose to continue watching this piece of garbage after this little display you deserve the wanton waste of your time which is the only thing you’ll carry away with you. The X-Factor is already destined for the scrap heap.

      • lisa g

        I think it was staged too n fox is ashamed to admit it! Weren’t there kids n the audience of that crappy show?

    • Enric

      That clown was a sick m/f animal and had to be arrested immediately. Fox Inc. did wrong letting this sick animal stayed so long in camera.

    • Randy

      I agree it was disgusting. Not sure why the producers felt this was worthy to show America. However, it is not a violation of FCC rules. There was no “graphic nudity” shown. In fact, we now know the guy was wearing a g-string and wasn’t nude at all. Was it bad taste? Um, yeah. It was even worst taste for producers to include it. However, enough with filing complaints because you have nothing better to do with your lives.

    • lisa g

      This should help the ratings!

      • Idol Girl

        Yeah, help the ratings go down the toilet!

    • Steve H

      So, how many murders and beatings and so on are featured on TV shows each week? And are you so horrified by those that you turn of the TV and run to puke in the yard, or is it only the human body that you find so vile and disgusting? Remember, if the gods had wanted us to go about naked, we’d have been born that way.

    • Kevin G

      This is what you’r tax dollar is giving you from public school systems ,,and people like the X-factor idiot are voting for you’r president !!

  • Mona

    Never thought I’d say this in a MILLION years, but I totally agree with the PTC’s standpoint on this.
    I settled down to watch the X-Factor thinking it would be trashy, but ultimately harmless, family entertainment, but that sequence was a long way from that.
    The fact that Simon and the producers allowed the man to continue exposing himself for so long, even after one of their own judges walked out in disgust
    surely speaks to the contrived and deliberate intention of filming and subsequently airing that audition.
    The producers clearly thought it would garner them some cheap publicity and perhaps raise viewing figures in the short-term, but in doing so, they have woefully neglected their responsibilities as broadcasters.
    This wasn’t aired at 10pm on cable. Children were watching this. Children were in the live audience. Heck, children were even auditioning on the show!
    Shameful – I hope Fox have the book thrown at them. Preferably a large and pointy one.

    • pie thrower

      I’m with you Mona. I have never endorsed the PTC, but I think they finally found a purpose. If this guy did this in a football or baseball stadium, security would be tackling him to the ground immediately. When the X Factor producers saw his junk they must have thought they saw gold.

      “Nipplegate” at the Super Bowl was ridiculous and should not have even gone anywhere in trials and deliberations, but this incident on X Factor was absurd and insulting to an audience’s intelligence.

    • Pete

      What exactly did you see? A large “X” on your tv screen. And that is worth being so outraged? Were you able to see through the “X” to the man’s genitals? Are you able to see through clothing as well? Would lead underwear protect your sensitive eyes from men’s genitals, since apparently digital editing is woefully inadequate?

      • Meeeee

        What’s even funnier than these people’s cowardice is the fact that they believe what they’re watching is real, and not some contrived stunt to boost ratings by creating false controversy. These mouth-breathers buy into it and actually fulfill the producers’ intentions.

        Like I said, it would be a laugh riot if these fools didn’t vote.

      • Puter

        Meee, exactly. Sadly, they do vote. They vote without considering in the slightest exactly who it is they are voting for. They vote for perceived agendas. The political parties’ agendas are no more real than the tv shows they watch, and contrived to do exactly the same thing: Get as many followers as possible so that they can continue to make money. It’s all pretend, people, so that you’ll keep them rich, fat, and happy.

    • Connie

      I agree with you 100% What about the children in the audience. They should have had security on this guy super fast, hauled him off stage and Arrest him, and charged.

      • Eric


  • RK

    SImon says “Thank you, idiots”.

  • JPX

    I love all the faux outrage. People have no problem watching violence but if there’s a hint of nudity (even censored) people become so ridiculously self-righteous. Please, are you really that “offended”? If so you need to get a life. What a bunch of prudes.

    • Cameron J

      +1. I hate it when people overreact and lord over this show for this as if it’s eeeevil. Survivor has more nudity than this, and I learned all my swearing from my parents. This is no BFD. The sooner people know that the world is not their b**change, the better.

    • Meeeee

      What’s really pathetic is how these people claim to be “conservative” and against government regulation and spending, but they’re the first ones wasting our money calling upon the government powers to protect them from images that they claim to find personally offensive. You actually have to put effort toward being this big of a hypocrite.

    • RK

      Pants on the ground, pants on the ground…did the file a complaint for that?

      • Get Over it

        LMAO… Agreed

      • Juniper

        No, I guess cuz he wore underwear.

      • Lucille

        Lol I remember that song…..no because the guy never took off his pants due to the fact that his song was actually CLEAN. He was talking about guys who walk around w/their pants so far below their waistline- below the bottoms actually- that their pants might as well fall on the groind down around their ankles.

      • Lucille

        *ground. Sorry.

    • Ruby

      I’m sorry, I’m usually VERY liberal about nudity, but I’m certainly not a fan of it when it’s forced upon me. Then it becomes assault. I don’t care about what *I* saw on TV, but that man should have been arrested for indecent exposure for doing that to the audience. That’s not prudish, that’s common sense.

      • Get Over it

        It’s not prudish but it’s not assualt either… You are completely out of your mind if you considered that “Forced on YOU”. Did Simon steal your remote while Paula held you to gun point and Mr. X taped your eye lids up? Get of your purist soap box and contain your babble, for what you speak is “NOT” common sense. Ridiculous… Oh yeah… Have a nice day!

      • B

        I partially agree with you. I think you are being overly dramatic, Ruby, thinking this was “assault” in any way (other than an assault on good taste and attractiveness). But I have to wonder how this wasn’t considered indecent exposure for the public nudity? Especially if there were minors in the audience (and how could there not have been with this Idol-rehashing dreck).

        I’m not personally offended, but he should have been dragged off the stage and thrown out.

        Except we all know that Simon secretly thought this was GOLD when it happened.

      • Connie

        Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    • JEP

      What imitation prudes!! I thought it was tasteless and hilarious when it happened but all you prudes had to do was change the channel. I believe he had on some kind of underwear since the bodyguards didn’t haul him off the stage immediately!! It’s called common sense. These same people who are screaming for the FTC to fine FOX are the same ones who *** at the drop of a hat!

      • G-Mom

        Oh, I changed the channel LONG before this idiot came on!!!

  • CijiDunne

    Prudes huh ? Well, I’d rather watch Gordon Ramsey screaming at his chef wannabes than watch this trash. I did think Simon was above this crap. Prudes… aren’t you self-rightous

  • Joe

    People should be outraged that crap shows like the X Factor and Idol are still on the air.

    • Get Over it


  • Bruce Yellowwood

    I hope they still bring Cheryl Cole in as a guest judge one day as well as Dannii Minogue, Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow, Kelly Rowland and Tulisa Contostavlos from the UK X Factor.

  • Jordan

    If this performance was so disgusting and upsetting, why did X-Factor choose to NOT edit it out and to air it? This is a load of BS

    • FreedomOfSpeech2011

      (JUDGE) L.A. Reid said it was “offensive, disgusting, distasteful and upsetting. He then said “Get him out of the building”….which didn’t happen, no they gave him MORE AIRTIME! The only people left were the parents of the children. Even Paula was sickened by this. If this performance was so disgusting and upsetting, why did X-Factor choose to NOT edit it out and to air it? Money..why else?

  • FreedomOfSpeech2011

    Fine Fox, Fine X Factor…Arrest Geo Godley and Simon Cowell. Nothing else will be enough. A crime was committed and Fox and Simon Cowell should pay for it.

    • Meeeee

      You obviously don’t know what a “crime” is. Take a U.S. Government or civics class and try again.

      • FreedomOfSpeech2011

        If you show your penis to kids IT’S A CRIME…Dumb@$$

      • Ruby

        Hilarious that you’re telling someone to go get schooled when you apparently haven’t heard of a little thing called “Indecent Exposure”. Flashers get arrested for it all the time.

    • Get Over it

      I seen no crime since I wasn’t in the audience. Did they say he was completely naked? I haven’t read that as of yet. Interesting if we fine everyone for be offended. What a wonderful world to live in…NOT! Everyone wants to be a purist in the eyes of the public… Get real people, it’s a stupid show that by the postings almost everyone on here watched. That’s sort of makes you just as or even more stupid.

      “Stupid is as Stupid does”

      • Back to Nature

        Stupid is as stupid does” no, he was not completely naked, he had a shirt on!!! And even if it was fake and I think it was, the audience in the background was from another show (trick of the camera) so the judges was doing their thing by totally acting!!! so,the question to ask is why did the network want to do such a thing!!!

  • Meeeee

    Probably filed by some buffoon who claims to be “conservative” and against government regulation and spending, but is more than willing to waste taxpayer money to “protect them” from blurred out images of presumed nudity. I guess they can’t turn the channel; they need the government to protect them from their own choices…

    If these people didn’t vote, they would be a laugh riot. To the detriment of this nation, however, they do vote.

  • apolloallyn

    I don’t see the point in complaining about something that edited already. It would be a different situation if they hadn’t covered the guys junk with the x-factor logo. It just seems to me like someone wants to act offended to get fifteen minutes of fame.

  • Xena

    Proof that X-factor is a loser show that has to air strange men’s junk in order to get publicity.

    • lenscrafter

      of all the arguments, I like yours best, Xena. But I agree American’s are scardy cats of evil nakedness (like Janet Jackson’s *%&$#*%$&) oh my! For heaven’s sake, precious children were probably laughing.
      Didn’t help to show audience members marching out. I’ll bet he wasn’t nude and the proof will quiet this investigation. Mainly, it was a poor publicity stunt, as you say, Xena. And, um, 5 million to who for what . . . I haven’t seen anyone with X factor yet!?

  • JayNYC

    Well, if there were children in the audience, this guy should definitely be charged with indecent exposure, which I assume is a sex crime and he’d have to register as a sex offender. Like that character in Horrible Bosses…lol.

    • Ruby

      Indecent exposure doesn’t just apply to children.

    • Get Over it

      I agree… Except if he showed himself to “ANYONE” he should be charged. If he showed himself to children he should be dragged behind a truck across the nation. Crimes against children are taboo!!! However, I’m not so sure he was completely naked, FOX is bold but I don’t think they would go that far on a Pilot. Not yet anyway…

      • Kyle S.

        Whether or not a crime was committed will also depend on any paperwork that may have been signed by or presented to the X-Factor studio audience. They may have been forewarned, they may have been handed waivers, etc.

  • Maria

    It’s a penis. Get over it. More than half the world sees one every day.

    • Meeeee

      Stop. Common sense and rational thought no longer apply in this country. Unless you’re an over-sensitive coward who overreacts to mundane situations, nobody wants to hear this!!! ;-)

    • nodnarb

      I get to see two.

      • Lafe

        That’s cause you’re gay, Brandon.

      • nodnarb

        You and me both, gurl! ::snaps::

    • Juniper

      Just because some viewers prefer to watch naked scenes on other channels is one thing. It is another thing to believe you’re watching a g-rated talent contest with your children and have a no-talent pervert expose himself to children, and the children who were contestants on the show. Whoever said “its just a penis” has the values of a goat and is actually part of the problem. Well maybe now we know why they call it “X_ factor. Its rated “X.”

      • BamaPhil

        Why did you think you were watching a G-rated show when the tv rating was clearly a TV-14? I love when people like you make CLEARLY uneducated remarks. Thank you for the laugh!

  • JayNYC

    I agree that this nation’s attitudes regarding sex/nudity vs. violence are completely warped.
    I mean clothing is as “un-natural” as gay marriage, so why is the religious right so upset about this?

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