Interim FCC chairman James Quello said Thursday Congress should give his agency authority to regulate TV violence if the entertainment industry doesn’t clean up its act on its own.

Quello’s comments came in response to questioning from Rep. Jim Slattery (D-Kan.) at an FCC funding authorization hearing before the House telecommunications subcommittee.

Quello, a longtime critic of excessive sex and violence on TV, said he’s willing to give the networks and programmers time to self-regulate violence. Absent any action, however, he said a “necessary next step” is FCC regulation.

Quello said the “nexus is there” to prove that violence on TV plays a role in violence in society.

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