Parents' group protests Britney Spears song

Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:01pm EST
 
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By Jonathan Cohen

NEW YORK (Billboard) - The Parents Television Council is warning parents about the Britney Spears song "If U Seek Amy" and urging radio stations not to broadcast it because the nonprofit organization believes it "would violate the broadcast indecency law" if aired between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Saying the title phrase quickly out loud produces a sound akin to spelling out the F-word, said PTC president Tim Winter. "There is no misinterpreting the lyrics to this song, and it's certainly not about a girl named Amy," he said of the track, the third single from Spears' new Jive album, "Circus."

"It's one thing for a song with these lyrics to be included on a CD so that fans who wish to hear it can do so, but it's an entirely different matter when this song is played over the publicly-owned airwaves, especially at a time when children are likely to be in the listening audience," Winter says.

Founded in 1995, the PTC describes itself as "a nonpartisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment." Jive was unavailable for comment on the PTC's advisory.

The controversy isn't stopping U.S. radio from playing "If You Seek Amy." Six top 40 stations have the song in rotation this week, enough to place the track at No. 92 on the Billboard Pop 100 chart. Leading the pack is WFLZ-Tampa, Fla., which has played it 19 times.

"We're confident the version of the song we air is not crossing any lines," program director Tommy Chuck told Billboard.com, adding that WFLX plays a Jive-created edit of the song that changes "Seek" to "See" as well as a jokey version in which morning host MJ shouts his name every time the word "Amy" appears.

Digitally, "Amy" has sold 107,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Reuters/Billboard

 
<p>Singer Britney Spears performs on ABC's "Good Morning America" in New York on December 2, 2008. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>