WARNING: This is a sample of complaints people across Alabama made to the FCC in 2022 regarding what they saw on TV. Some of these comments may be insensitive or hurtful to readers. Reader discretion is advised.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — On August 15, 2022, one person in Selma was so offended by what they were watching on TV that they decided to write to the Federal Communications Commission about it.

“Too weird, freaky, dark and dirty. Too revealing and sexy,” the person wrote about commercials they had seen. “Say no to some offers.”

This was one of over 130 complaints that people across Alabama wrote to the FCC last year, covering everything from billing issues to complaints they had with different TV shows and commercials. The full report can be read below.

Here are a few of the complaints Alabamians had with TV last year:

Will Smith and ‘the slap’

Will Smith, Chris Rock
Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
  • “Sanctions should be taken regarding Will Smith’s violent actions and profanity outburst. His actions were horrific and unacceptable and require your intervention.” (March 31, Dothan)
  • “As someone that suffers from PTSD from abusive relationship it is very concerning that means that people have seen this violence on TV. Has anyone taken into consideration the ramifications of everybody’s mental health in the situation especially those that have been triggered you to their past and present experiences with physical or any form of abuse. Also you need to take into account what type of message this is sending to young people. Though you don’t deal with social media video taken from television has been replayed millions of times on social media across all platforms. We have to be responsible ask ourselves are we looking at a mental health crisis? This is very very serious this affects mental health across all spectrums.” (April 1, Huntsville)

Taking Lord’s name in vain

(Getty Images)
  • “Chicago Police- 5-11-22 @ 9p-10p Early in this episode the name of God was taken in vain. I also have encountered this in several episodes of Law in Order SVU- these shows are airing on NBC channel Waff 48.” (May 11, Boaz)

Alabama politics

The Alabama State Capitol stands on May 15, 2019 in Montgomery, Alabama. (Photo by Julie Bennett/Getty Images)
  • “Fake news, how can these politicians be stopped from running ads spouting Fake News, Lindy Blanchard and Mike Durant Alabama continue to spout false claims regarding Covid, the 2020 election and more. And the local stations broadcast it. Can’t these liars be stopped.” (Jan. 23, Huntsville)
  • “Alabama candidate for governor, Lindy Blanchard is running an ad claiming Donald Trump had the election stolen from him. I find her spreading of lies offensive and possibly dangerous. This ad should be stopped.” (Jan. 24, Berry)
  • “The 2022 United States presidential election , was held and conducted in a fair and legal manner. Why are citizens, having to tolerate and be exposed to fake news commercials from state elected government officials, in this, it’s Alabama. Governor is Kay Ivey and her commerical is right here, see you tube link: https://youtu.be/xztJw19j-CY. I would like to submit this as Fake news and have our national standards remove from local tv and also local internet and online publications, such as AL.com. Thank you. Please call me at (redacted) f Mobile , Alabama.” (April 5, Mobile)
  • “The consumer said about an issue with a commercial. Stated about how a commercial that is being used for disrespecting the president of the United States. She said that it’s all about republican party. The consumer said that if a person is going to run for Governor then the commercial should be about it. Which she wanted to report the issue to the FCC.” (March 10, Mobile)

Tim James

Former gubernatorial candidate Tim James speaks to reporters during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021 on the steps of the Alabama Capitol in Montgomery, Ala. James is considering challenging incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey in next year’s governor’s race. The son of former Gov. Fob James said he will make a decision by the end of the year. Staking out far-right political territory, the 59-year-old toll road developer has defended people’s decisions to decline the COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)
  • “A misleading and harmful advertisement from Tim James has been allowed to air on channel 48 (A Gray television company, owned by NBC). This commercial incites hate against transgender individuals and a specific public school in the state of Alabama. Allowing this commercial to continue to air is a dangerous endorsement of hate speech, it is indecent to air on television.” (April 6, Gurley)
  • “I contacted our local TV station to complain about the content of a politician’s campaign ad (Tim James-Gov for AL) who states “the secular left claims there are 50 genders and they are teaching that in our schools”. They told me political ads are controlled by the FCC and they do not have to tell the truth and can be “hate speech” and there is nothing they can do about it. Facebook and Twitter are being forced to control false information. What can the FCC do to be sure politicians tell the truth.” (Feb. 2, Owens Cross Roads)

‘Bachelor in Paradise’

Television personalities (L-R) Aaron Clancy, Victoria Larson, Tammy Ly, Natasha Parker, Tre Cooper, Jessenia Cruz, Connor Brennan and Kenny Braasch attend ABC’s “Bachelor In Paradise” And “The Ultimate Surfer” Premiere Blue Carpet Event at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, in Santa Monica, California, August 12, 2021. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)
  • “Rodney and Genevieve of “Bachelor in Paradise” have threatened to harm me as a viewer of that show, who saw it recently, October 24, CST. I don’t know the reason for their problem with me, but I’ve had problems watching other broadcasts and think they would be aware of my viewing before yesterday and not of the show in which they tried to communicate messages that would allow them to seem to be in my residence and part of the auspices of the show at the same time. While I’m not certain I’m in danger, I do sense it.” (Oct. 25, Birmingham)
  • “I submitted a complaint on the 25th of October, that morning; by 7:00pm, I turned again to ABC, without knowing “Bachelor in Paradise” would be shown a second night, and was, I felt, forced to feel that I no longer had a problem with that which had happened the night before in that the first image I saw was of Genevieve as if she and Mr. Rodney Strong had not threatened my life the night before yesterday evening.” (Oct. 26, Birmingham)
  • “I was harassed last night by Shanas as she left “Bachelor in Paradise”: Eventually, she called me a ‘black royal’; her comments were made while I watched NCIS and, unfortunately, two of the actors made comments about the way I drank from a cup.” (Nov. 22, Birmingham)

Fox News

  • “Because of its biased leanings toward capitalist conservativism, so-called fox news is an extension of “white” supremacy, descendants of those that kidnapped, imprisoned, tortured and enslaved INNOCENT PEOPLE. Those wild unregulated noisemakers are the cause of the uptick in violence the world is experiencing. And in the interest of saving what is left of civility, the nasty-*** mouths of “white” supremacy of so-called fox news MUST BE STOPPED.” (March 4, Phenix City)
  • “Take that garbage off the air, or you’re just as complicit with the murders as everyone at Fox News is. You have the power to change this.” (July 6, Alabama)
  • “Promoting false information on numerous issues. Leading to the death of hundreds of thousands Americans as well as the division of our country. No time in history has one network divided a country in history.” (Aug. 23, Mobile)
  • “Why can nothing be done to get this program banned. This group of people lies all the time, continually. They are a menace to our society. Really! Murdoch needs to be banned from having license for any supposed “news” shows. Please help! You will be helping our country.” (July 15, Gadsden)


SAN FRANCISCO, CA – FEBRUARY 05: A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN)
  • “ESPN commentators Matt Schick and his colleague Paul made racist and harrasing statements during the 3/6/22 ESPN 2 college basketball broadcast between Longwood and Withrop. My children are deeply disturbed by their comments.” (March 6, Calhoun)
  • “At approximately 6:05 Central Time in the United States I had my television on ESPN2 for my 5 year old child who was waiting for the Army vs. SMU game to start on ESPN. Much like the rest of us, he finds “College Football Countdown” unwatchable. He is watching “Redbull Signature Series”, which is airing on ESPN2. Out of the blue I hear my child say “(redacted)” which made me rub my eyes and make sure I was not dreaming. I go to him and ask where he heard that word from and he point to the TV and says “that guy said it”. I was certain he was lying because there’s no way that a DISNEY company would be airing SWEAR WORDS on their network! I rewind the TV and start listening and my heart absolutely sunk. There it was. “(redacted)”. I am absolutely expecting the network to pay a HEAFTY fine for this violation. If I do not hear back within 7 business days I WILL be very upset.” (Oct. 14, Foley)

Gay community

  • “There are disclaimers at the beginning of tv shows and movies for language, nudity, sexual situations and even smoking. Why can’t those disclaimers include homosexual activity when applicable.” (Aug. 6, Fitzpatrick)
  • “I am filing this complaint on the Apretude commercial on Pluto with gay men kissing. I am totally offended and do not want to watch men kissing. Two men kissing is not what I or my grandchildren need to see.. Totally disgusted. Please consider removing the commercial for all the people that watch your station.” (Oct. 31, Ranburne)
  • “Me and my family are very offended by the apretuda commercial promoting it’s product by having 2 gay men kissing. We are Christian’s and very offended by this. Please hear my voice and have the commercial removed from the tv.” (Nov. 21, Guin)
  • “It is morally wrong and disgusting that you have men sexually interacting with men on regular tv in front of my chuldren.” (Nov. 30, Phenix City)


This image released by Universal Pictures shows Billy Eichner, left, and Luke Macfarlane in a scene from “Bros.” (Universal Pictures via AP)
  • “Hulu is showing Rated R ads while my children and I are trying to watch rated G programs. Not only are the ads Rated R, but they are indecent even for rated R. They’re showing ads for a movies “Bros”. The ad depicts people having sex (you can see people grinding their privates on each other while naked), people using sex toys (nipple toys) and various other lewd content including talking about people they’re planning on having sex with. I don’t want to see this content, and I especially don’t want my kids to see it. Hulu has no process currently (you get “unavailable” notices) for ad reporting or any way to contact them (“temporarily unavailable”). Please help.” (Sept. 30, Opelika)

Peyronie’s Disease

  • “Xiaflex – a drug for Peyronie’s Disease – is highly phallic and inappropriate for TV ads that are show during all TV viewing hours that expose children. It’s highly suggestive and borderline pornographic depiction of a health problem that men should be talking to their doctors about is should be rremoved – or highly altered to describe the issue. It mentions “penile straightening and strtching exercises.” I just don’t believe this is a n ad that should be show in family living rooms all across that nation. Please remove this ad.” (Jan. 29, Birmingham)

‘Dr. Pimple Popper’

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 10: Dr. Sandra Lee, aka Dr. Pimple Popper, attends Discovery Inc. 2019 NYC Upfront at Alice Tully Hall on April 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Discovery Inc.)
  • “The commercial advertising Dr. Pimple Popper should be taken off air because many of us thinks that it is nauseating even though it’s blurred out. It makes some of us sick to our stomachs.” (April 15, Tuscumbia)

‘CBS This Morning’

Nate Burleson, Bill Cowher, Boomer Esiason
FILE – Nate Burleson attends the CBS Network Upfront on May 16, 2018, in New York. The former NFL player will join “CBS This Morning” as one of the show’s three co-hosts next month. Burleson will team with Gayle King and Tony Dokoupil on the show. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
  • “Nate Burleson, CBS, made so far two comments that were aimed directly at me, a viewer who watched CBS This Morning and had ‘subsequently smacked her lips’ and ‘taken it to the head’. The first regarded the sound I made after drinking from a glass; the other was the fact I drank from a gallon jug of water. I don’t know the reason(s) he is/was able to know what I was doing.” (Nov. 15, Birmingham)

‘Meet the Press’

In this Nov. 17, 2019 photo released by NBC, Moderator Chuck Todd appears on “Meet the Press” in Washington. A special “Meet the Press” episode on disinformation in politics is scheduled for Dec. 29. Marty Baron, executive editors of The Washington Post, and Dean Baquet, of The New York Times, are scheduled to be interviewed. (William B. Plowman/NBC via AP)
  • “On July 10, 2022, MSNBC’s commentator Mark Leibovich stated in reference to former president Donald Trump: “Look we have no plan for this, except sitting around hoping he dies.” This statement is akin to incitement to political murder. In addition, another commentator directly preceding Mark Leibovich stated that “the only answer is death” in referent to Donald Trump and it is also like incitement to political murder. These two statements made on a public broadcast under the authority of the FCC could foreseeably incite assassination and the FCC is responsible for any harm that could occur as a result of these statements because the FCC has oversight authority over MSNBC. This is a very serious threat, and this threat has been recently demonstrated by the assassination of former Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. This situation must be taken very seriously and the FCC must revoke MSNBC’s broadcast license immediately.” (July 11, Daphne)

In the above segment, Leibovich did not make the statement on his own, but was quoting from an anonymous Republican lawmaker he spoke to while working on his book, “Thank You for Your Servitude: Donald Trump’s Washington and the Price of Submission.”

DirecTV dropping OAN

This illustration photo shows a person reading the One America Network website on a smartphone in front of a DirecTV logo in Los Angeles, January 14, 2022. – Subscription television service DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with One America News Network (OAN), an ultra-conservative, conspiratorial US channel that backs former US president Donald Trump.”We informed (OAN owner) Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” a spokesman for DirecTV told AFP January 14, 2021. (Photo by Chris DELMAS / AFP) (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
  • “I am lodging complaint against AT&T / DTV and ask for an investigation into the removal of One America News OAN from its programming. I believe this to be Political Censorship of the Conservative voice and is being done at the request of the Biden Administration. In support of my argument I point to Biden’s recent comments suggesting Big Tech Censor “missinformation and disinformation”. Biden is not our King! Nor is he an Dictator! OAN is a quality network growing in popularity, unlike CNN, a network of Perverts and Liars owned by Att! Joe Biden is using his executive power, to incite Media outlets to censor Conservative speech, in direct violation of the First Amendment! Att / DTV are acting as a proxy for Joe Biden and the Executive Branch! I ask you to investigate ATT’s reasoning behind the exile of OAN from its platforms! Were these changes made at the bequest of the Federal Government ir was this an internal decision made free of WH influence? The FCC needs to protect U.S. from Government Censorship be it direct or by proxy allies. Please investigate Att internal Communications. Protect our Civil Rights!” (Jan. 16, Irvington)

Out-of-coverage weather forecast

The current outlook keeps most of the U.S. in an active weather pattern.
  • “On 1/1/22 at approximately 6:32 CST, we received a tornado warning for Madison County Alabama and Lincoln County Tennessee by our cable provider, Spectrum. The warning was on a crawl in a grey box at the top of the screen, and was then read aloud blocking the audio from the program I was watching. The warning was on all cable channels that I checked. This is a serious issue. The location of the warning was over 100 miles away. I have heard of several complaints from my friends and acquaintances about these warnings from out of area interfering with their programs unnecessarily. Warnings received from areas outside of the viewers immediate area cause a lack of confidence in these warnings and could lead to a loss of live.” (Jan. 1, Alabaster)
  • “I live in Alabama where we get many severe weather warnings. We can be in the middle of a tornado warning in our area, watching the weatherman closely on television, when the emergency alert warning comes on, usurping the weather broadcast, and the alert stays on and on and on, repeating continuously in English and Spanish. These are way to general and are dangerous in bad weather interrupting local stations. We should be able to opt out of EAS messages.” (March 30, Helena)
  • “During tornado outbreaks in Alabama, it is imperative that we have direct access to our local weather stations by TV for our protection since they give us live radar and instructions as to direction, severity, and duration of storms. Our current TV provider states that they are unable to allow us to opt out of their Emergency Broadcast Warning System which is totally ineffective since we receive info late; not pertaining to our area; and it will not allow us to get out of their system and return to programming cutting us off from our only source of true info which is our local weather stations. Contacted Spectrum and they state that they can do nothing to help us which I find insincere and false. If they will program the system to allow us to simply opt out and return to local programming, this will cure the problem. This is a dangerous situation during local tornado ourbreaks.” (April 5, Guntersville)
  • “My location is set up by the fcc for local news from Birmingham (85 miles). Montgomery should be my local news. During a recent severe weather threat my local tornado sirens were going off and the only local new available to me literally said there are no watches or warnings in their viewing area and went back to regular programs. Montgomery is about (30 miles) from me and covers my location please for the safety of my family help resolve this.” (Feb. 20, Marbury)

Can’t change the channel

(Courtesy of Shutterstock)
  • “On several occasions my TV has been on & suddenly QVC pops on the screen & when that happens it literally LOCKS on for 2 minutes. There is no set time when it happens ~ it happened last night again. There’s never a set channel that it happens on but when it happens it lasts 2 minutes & I literally CANNOT change the channel. Someone is controlling something somewhere….and if it’s happening to me, then it’s happening to others as well. I reported it to WOW & they were zero help…just wanted to access my account.” (May 24, Dothan)

Inappropriate commercials

  • “Its a rapping commercial on Paramount Plus with dancing pubic hair, it is completely in appropriate and extremely distasteful. The solution is to remove it from circulation immediately.” (July 22, Harvest)
  • “My son started watching an on-demand recording of Hotel Transylvania 3 from FX Movies. The first ad that comes on is for ForHims.com with inappropriate sexual imagery and language such as “Get Hard, Stay Hard.” NOT OK to show this kind of commercial during a movie that’s supposed to be kid-friendly. We were watching through Hulu – I contacted their customer support and it was a complete waste of time.” (Oct. 30, Prattville)
  • “Marc Jacobs new commercial is basically soft porn. The poses and clothing and the way it’s presented are completely inappropriate. It is airing on daytime tv. It should be ban or at the very least not aired til after midnight.” (Dec. 29, Wilsonville)
  • “Hello. It seems that regardless of the channel I am watching the Wayfair commercial with the Bad Kid (old enough to know right from wrong) pops up. I’m very disturbed with this commercial. I have written to Wayfair complaining. The commercial shows a kid just being down right mean with a parent who is on with it. Children should not see it And I bet (although it’s acting) they claim christianity. Lowercase purposely.” (July 29, Tuscumbia)
  • “There is nudity in the commercial for one a day vitamins. It needs to be changed or deleted. A commercial happens so fast that there is not time to avoid the nudity.” (Feb. 9, Northport)

‘Nasty crap’

  • “All tv commercials needs to stop showing nasty crap stop showing girls in underwear and etc. And stop showing the nasty chatting sex call line commercials kids are watching TV all the time and it shouldn’t be no commercials showing nasty crap take all of the nasty commercials off of tv that is just nasty showing stuff like that stop showing that crap me and all moms and dads are complaining about this please take off all bad nasty commercials.” (May 26, Bessemer)

‘F word’

  • “Over the last week I have heard profanity and obscene language on several diffident channels that are considered basic cable channels. Myself and my family should not have to be subject to this obscene language. Why is this not being controlled?” (Jan. 7, Hartselle)
  • “The consumer was watching the January 6th trial. The person speaking said the F word and even had the visual spelling of the word on the screen. The consumer is upset because he was watching the program with his son. The word wasn’t blurred, and the verbal use of the word was not bleeped out CTR423-TV.” (Oct. 13, Pelham)
  • “I’m now explaining to my 8 and 10 yr old what the work (redacted) means after watching this program. Is that really necessary? Garbage.” (July 21, Mobile)

‘Dancing in obscene attire’

  • “Heart Radio Music Fest, night 2. Woman was on the stage singing and dancing in obscene attire that left both buttocks bare with a g string in the middle. She would bend over while dancing on a raised stage.” (Oct. 8, Columbiana)

Mixed race commercials

  • “Why are ads for gender, race, and mixing on TV? As a Christian it is offensive! These people have the right to be whatever they want to be; but why are we having to monitor our children, and grandchildrens’ media to keep them from seeing this. It goes against everything we are trying to teach them. Can you please do something about this.” (Jan. 27, Daviston)
  • “I am writing to complain about the commercials of all the African American Males with white women and mixed children. How dare this system try to destroy the hope of African Americans women and children to have the complete family with the black man that created them. America is contradictory – Killing Black boys , marginalizing them, but OK to Breed. These commercials need to be Banned. The products being advertised need to be boycotted. Blacks are Sleeping. This is very emotional to have so many mixed families representing products and services that don’t support a total black family. Statistics show Black folks spending the most money. Please address.” (June 29, Alabama)

Wrong name in news story

  • “On Friday May 27, WMPI-NBC ran a story on the 12:00 noon news about the Southern Baptist Convention list of sex abusers’ and put up my dads picture with the story. There was a (redacted) on that list but it was not my dad. The (redacted). My dad has never pastored a church in Evergreen. After my dad was contacted by a church member and called the station to say they had the wrong person, the immediately took the story down and ran an apology store at the 5:00 news.” (June 1, Theodore)

Customer service

  • “I have received the worst customer service from phone agents employe by Comcast on Feb 21, 2022. The agents you reach overseas do not understand English and I can’t understand them. I ask to be transferred to someone in the USA and they mock me, refuse to transfer me, they dont understand the reason for my call and are not listening to my needs. I made 3 calls on Monday Feb 21, 2021 wasted my time to no reveal didn’t get anywhere. No one will help!” (Feb. 21, Fort Mitchell)

Too many commercials

  • “Not getting any show for my money. Do something.” (March 18, Cottondale)

Click here for the full FCC report.