New TV talent show The X Factor was hit with a formal indecency complaint on Friday for broadcasting an audition by a man who twice dropped his pants, and was allowed to carry on singing.
Watchdog group the Parents Television Council (PTC) said it had filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, which regulates standards on TV, calling it obscene and patently offensive.
The taped audition by Geo Godley was screened on Wednesday as creator Simon Cowell's X Factor made its much-hyped debut on Fox television. Godley's naked genitals were covered in the broadcast by a large X.
The incident caused judge Paula Abdul to leave the set while fellow judge, record producer L.A. Reid, told Godley his stunt was offensive, disgusting, distasteful and upsetting.
The prolonged, previously videotaped footage of a contestant dancing nude on the 'X Factor' stage represents a conscious decision by the producers ... to intentionally air this content in front of millions of families during hours when they knew full well that children would be watching, the PTC said.
The PTC said that Americans were led to believe the show would be family-friendly and instead were assaulted by graphic nudity.
Fox declined to comment on the PTC complaint.
More than 12 million people watched Wednesday's show, which attracted a lower-than-expected audience given the months of build-up and media hype.
American broadcasters and the U.S. government have been wrangling over indecency regulations for almost 10 years in an issue that will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Headline-making cases have included so-called fleeting expletives uttered by singers Bono and Cher on different live awards shows and Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction' -- in which her breast was briefly exposed -- during the Super Bowl halftime show in 2004.