5:53am PT by Erin Carlson
Parents Television Council Slams Howard Stern, Urges Advertisers to Drop 'America's Got Talent'
Here we go again: As the clock ticks ever closer to Howard Stern's much-hyped debut on America's Got Talent, the Parents Television Council is launching another attack on the polarizing radio host and reality show judge.
Almost immediately after the shock jock officially joined the judges' panel in December, the PTC slammed NBC, blasting the decision as "an act of desperation for a failing network." Stern responded to the group's complaints in an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, who previously was a Talent judge.
"Networks shudder for people like this," he said at the time. "I guess they get their printer out and they make a letterhead and they start to complain that I'm some sort of weird pervert who is going to convert Americans into some kind of zombie sex fiends."
Now comes news of a PTC letter to 91 of the show's advertisers, urging a boycott of the NBC reality competition over Stern. His controversial, unfiltered language and commentary remains the No. 1 source of concerns, with the organization quoting a NSFW remark he made about Season 3 American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino. Stern, the PTC argues, is only qualified at "looking at insecure, naked young women and telling them whether or not they were hot enough to pose for Playboy."
Reps for Stern and NBC did not immediately respond to THR's requests for comment.
Stern's co-judges, Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne, defended him last month at NBC's Summer Press Day, saying viewers would see a different side of the broadcaster. The seventh season of America's Got Talent begins at 8 p.m. May 14, with promos putting Stern front and center.
"Yes, he's edgy and honest, but he's a very bright, smart man," said Mandel. "Nobody gets to that height without knowing what they're doing. He's also compassionate, emotional, serious and has good constructive criticism. He's a good judge."