The FCC fined ABC’s late night comedy show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” for the misuse of the emergency alert tone.
The fine comes after Kimmel did a bit mocking President Donald Trump, according to a report published Friday by The Hollywood Reporter. The emergency alert text tone was heard three times during the broadcast.
The sketch featured a trailer for a movie called “The Textening.” ABC claimed the incident was a “misunderstanding that the use of the tone was permissible.”
“ABC takes regulatory compliance seriously and we are pleased to have resolved this issue,” a spokesperson for the network told The Hollywood Reporter. (RELATED: Jimmy Kimmel Signs Deal To Stay At ABC Through 2022)
The FCC rules behind the fine state that emergency alert system tones are limited to real emergencies, and misuse of the tone is considered a public safety concern.
Wild story: A @jimmykimmel skit used emergency alerts & gets fined $400,000 by the @FCC. @AMC_TV gets $100k fine for a similar violation. The use of the emergency alert system or wireless emergency alert tones is prohibited by law to avoid confusion.https://t.co/Y7QFbDQF1O
— Ben Rothke (@benrothke) August 16, 2019
“These rules aim to protect the integrity of the alert system by helping to avoid confusion when the tones are used, alert fatigue among listeners, and false activation of the EAS by the operative data elements contained in the alert tones,” the FCC wrote in a statement.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” isn’t the only show facing a fine for the use of the emergency alert. AMC was hit with a $104,000 fine for an episode of “The Walking Dead” that featured the tone. Discovery owes the FCC $68,000 for accidentally capturing a real emergency alert while filming.
All networks have agreed to adopt a compliance plan.