The Crüe Wants Its NBC-TV

Mötley Crüe has filed suit against NBC, claiming it was discriminated against when the network banned the group from future broadcasts after singer Vince Neil uttered the f-word during a New Year’s Eve broadcast last year.

The band filed suit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, asking for unspecified damages. According to the suit, Neil uttered his saucy best wishes for the New Year to drummer Tommy Lee long after 10 p.m., when censorship is less restricted. Still, the Crüe was banned from the network – including an appearance on its “Last Call with Carson Daly” show.

The suit acknowledges that the Federal Communications Commission has been clamping down on indecency since Janet Jackson‘s right breast was exposed during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. Still, it believes NBC squelched the band’s public apology and that Neil’s faux pas was not as bad as Bono’s f-bomb at the 2003 Golden Globe Awards primetime broadcast.

At the time, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau said Bono Vox’s utterance was not actionable because the f-word was used as an adjective and not as a euphemism for sex. That decision was later overturned by the FCC.

The band believes its banishment has resulted in a loss of record sales and didn’t help the promotion of its tour any.

Bassist Nikki Sixx said the lawsuit was filed after System Of A Down singer Daron Malakian screamed an effer during the band’s recent performance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” with impunity.

“This is about fair and equal treatment,” Sixx said. “We have a right to be treated in the same way as other artists who have made the same mistake.”

System Of A Down had five scripted swear words in the song in question and each one was successfully bleeped, but a sixth, unscripted dirty word slipped past the censors during the East Coast broadcast.

NBC said its decision to keep the Crüe off the air is consistent with its policy.

“To ensure compliance with its broadcast standards, NBC has the right to decide not to invite back guests who violate those standards and use an expletive during a live entertainment program,” the network stated. “The lawsuit Mötley Crüe has filed against us is meritless.”