Why is it that it is acceptable to show, on shows like "CSI", graphic images of the violence done to a human body, but the sight of an uncovered female breast throws people into fits of righteous indignation? Have we lost our collective grip on reality?
Only days after the firestorm created when Janet Jackson exposed her breast during the Super Bowl, plans to air an episode of "ER" on NBC Thursday evening that includes a view of an elderly female patient's bare breast are raising serious concerns among the network's affiliates.
Some NBC affiliates are so uneasy about the scene planned for the first night of sweeps that at least one station group executive described himself Tuesday as "considering what my options are" should NBC decide to air the hour with the exposed breast. "You're not going to find the stations very willing to take the heat," said the station group executive. "I think people are going to be backing off big-time."
Look, a breast is merely part of the female anatomy. It is only "prurient" or "pornographic" if one chooses to interpret it that way. "ER" deals with issues of the human body, and having watched most of the show's episodes myself, I've seen nothing that I would define as either "prurient" or even "pornographic". The breast in question supposedly belongs to an elderly female character. If NBC were truly in it for the titillation factor, don't you think they'd have the character written to physical resemble, say, Jessica Simpson?
The hypocrisy at work here is something I find astounding. On any given night, one can see murders and other acts of violence take place frequently and graphically. Where is the outcry about this? The sight of bleeding corpses on shows like "Law & Order" create no controversy. Meanwhile, the news that "ER" will contain a few scenes of an uncovered female breast is treated as if it is the harbinger of the decline and fall of Western civilization. Is it just me, or is our righteous indignation just a wee bit off the mark here?