Former model Nicole Clark and director of Cover Girl Culture joined the new 4 Every Girl campaign to call for 'concerned' parents to contact the Federal Trade Commission about the marketing of R-rated Spring Breakers to a
largely underage audience through Seventeen magazine. Clark said:
Many teens grew up watching Vanessa Hudgens in Disney's High School Musical franchise and Selena Gomez in Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place -- both entertaining and wholesome programs enjoyed by millions of children over the years.
It is natural that as these actresses enter their late teens and twenties they will take on more mature roles. This does not justify marketing their new R-rated film to their child fans. Seventeen magazine and the film's distributors are
promoting an R-rated film to readers who are 12 - 19 years old. 2/3 of Seventeen readers are underage for this film.
According to the MPAA's ratings there is strong sexual content (one of which is a three-some), nudity, drug use and violence throughout. If tobacco companies are banned from marketing cigarettes in teen magazines, why would sex, violence, and
drugs get approval?
This stunt has inevitably given the film free press coverage. There should be a price to pay for this inexcusable and irresponsible act against our young girls. Too many companies have learned they can earn national, free press coverage through
shock and awe stunts. There needs to be a heavy fine to deter this irresponsible behavior.
The Federal Trade Commission has an obligation to examine the ways this R-rated film has been marketed to children.
We hope that Hearst and Seventeen magazine will take responsibility for the harmful sexual and violent messages they've promoted and remove the harmful ads aimed at their young readership. We will be asking all concerned parents and families to
join us in contacting the FTC to advocate for responsible advertisements.
New 'research' from morality campaigners of the Parents Television Council's 4 Every Girl Campaign claims that teenage female characters on primetime broadcast television are more likely to be presented in sexually exploitative scenes
than adult women, and the appearance of underage female characters in a supposedly sexually exploitative scene increased the probability that the scene would be presented as humorous.
Study results revealed that out of 238 scripted episodes which aired during the study period, 150 episodes (63%) contained sexual content in scenes that were associated with females and 33% of the episodes contained sexual content that rose to
the level of what the PTC see as sexual exploitation.
Topics that targeted teenage girls and were presented as humorous included: sexual violence, sex trafficking, sexual harassment, pornography, and stripping.
PTC President Tim Winter claimed:
The frequency with which viewers are able to watch and laugh at these sexually exploitative situations supports the notion that entertainment media is creating an environment that encourages and even facilitates the sexualization of women. When
we laugh about dead hookers, it becomes increasingly difficult to see the mistreatment of sex workers as a national civil and human rights issue. The same can be said for child molestation or sex trafficking.
The prevalence of images that trivialize sexual exploitation can be interpreted as sanctioning the sexualization of women. When these messages, images and ideologies are delivered via mass media, the definition of acceptable and unacceptable
behaviors are communicated both implicitly and explicitly to viewers. Similarly, when the media associates humor with sexual exploitation they are sending a strong message that these issues are harmless and require neither urgency nor a strong
We hope that these disturbing findings will spur concern, increased dialogue, and a collective responsibility to find answers that will result in a qualitative difference in the lives of young girls and women everywhere.
The Parents Television Council has issued a whinge in response to MTV's Video Music Awards. PTC Director of Public Policy Dan Isett enthused:
MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials -- while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14. This is unacceptable.
This much is absolutely clear: MTV marketed adults-only material to children while falsely manipulating the content rating to make parents think the content was safe for their children.
MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate 'twerking' in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?
How is it appropriate for children to watch Lady Gaga strip down to a bikini in the opening act?
How is it appropriate for 14-year-olds to see a condom commercial and a promo for an R-rated movie during the first commercial break?
PTC Advisory Board Member and former BET Executive Paul Porter said:
The Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance simply substituted talent with sex. Viacom has a set of corporate broadcast standards that were obviously broken in this case for financial gain. While the performance was shocking to the audience, MTV
approved it during the show run prior to the broadcast. Heads should roll at MTV.
The Parents Television Council has released its annual Best TV Advertisers List which focuses on companies that sponsor the least family-friendly TV programming.
PTC President Tim Winter explained:
This year's analysis should provide greater clarity for those members of the public who wish to 'vote with their wallets'.
We base this list purely on the sponsorship behavior we see from these companies.
We encourage the public to use this list when they're shopping.
The list is based on each company's prime time broadcast television ad buys during the 2012-2013 television season. Using the PTC's trademarked traffic light ratings system, each company was assigned a point value based on the number of green,
yellow and red light shows it sponsored.
The Parents Television Council is calling on its members to file indecency complaints over an episode of Fox Broadcasting's Dads , which featured an implied depiction of and references to semen, and references to masturbation. The episode
was rated TV-14 and aired at 8 pm Eastern/7:00 pm Central on January 14.
The following are the sexual scenes that were featured in this episode:
Veronica: You don't have a caring bone in your body.
Eli: Yes, I do. My bone cared for her twice last night. And a bendy third time.
Warner uses a UV light to disinfect Veronica's desk.
Warner: These things are amazing. It even lights up semen.
Warner's dad enters, waving "Hi" to everyone. The UV light picks up traces of semen, presumably, on his hand.
Camila tries to watch television with David and Crawford nearby.
Camila: What about that show "Girls"?
David: Hey, I'm trying to get erections, not lose them.
PTC President Tim Winter said:
We are urging members of the public to file a formal FCC indecency complaint over this episode of 'Dads.
Parents who have been told repeatedly by the entertainment industry to rely on the TV content ratings system have been fooled once again given this episode's very low TV-14 rating. How is a semen scene appropriate for 14-year-old children?
If parents can't rely on the television ratings system to give them accurate and consistent information about the programs their families might be watching, then the system is worthless -- serving only to give the networks cover as they continue
to push the limits of what is deemed acceptable for the broadcast medium.
We urge the FCC to investigate this 'Dads' episode on behalf of families across the nation.
The clean up TV moralist group, The Parents Television Council whinged on their website about a US TV series, Reign :
The Parents Television Council condemned the CW Network for its plans to give children online access to a more sexually explicit version of tonight's episode of Reign by adding in scenes that the network's own standards department cut and
then posting the episode on the channel's web site tomorrow, without age verification mechanisms.
Dan Isett, PTC director of communications and policy said:
The CW Network is doing parents no favors by allowing children unfettered access to sexual content from this young adult and teen-targeted show online. It's appalling that a broadcast network would flaunt broadcast standards in this manner and
the network should be condemned for this action.
This is nothing more than a network ploy to increase attention for its show, but it comes at the expense of children. Anyone with common sense should realize that online standards for broadcast networks should be the same as they are on
television. There's a reason that the CW Network's own standards department cut the two sex scenes from the broadcast version -- they weren't appropriate for television. So what makes them appropriate to post online where presumably children
will be able to watch them with no rating or blocking capability? Nothing. The CW Network should be ashamed.
The Parents Television Council is calling on Fox Broadcasting to immediately remove the explicit video, Easter Bunny's Coming, from its YouTube Channel for its Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD) programming block.
The video short, which is produced and copyrighted by Fox Broadcasting Network, contains graphic cartoon images of fornicating rabbits, multiple unbleeped f-words, harsh references to male sexual anatomy and vulgar slang for ejaculation.
PTC President Tim Winter said:
Nine months ago we issued an urgent warning to parents, as well as a harsh condemnation to Fox Broadcasting and potential sponsors, regarding the network's new 'ADHD' programming block. Fox has now validated our concerns by creating the most
explicit material we've ever seen produced by a broadcast television network. Though still being distributed by Fox only via the Internet, the network is using its weekly broadcast to promote the website, and children are clearly in the cross
hairs. And the recently tarnished retailer, Target, appears to be underwriting explicit material on the 'ADHD' website.
We thought we had seen the worst of 'ADHD' when Fox aired a segment several months ago with high school characters gleefully taking cell phone pictures of their genitals and texting the photos to other students. That content pales in comparison
to the material in this new video.
The animated Easter Bunny clip, which runs 2 minutes and 19 seconds in duration, features over a dozen unbleeped 'f-words;' depictions of dozens of fornicating rabbits; more than a dozen instances of a vulgar slang term for ejaculation; a
depiction of a male character eating rabbit feces; and music lyrics that are grotesquely sexualizing and misogynistic. An overt reference to Christians and Jews only adds to the offensive nature of a video being promoted during Holy Week and
The 'ADHD' Easter Bunny segment isn't some random Internet video, it's easily X-rated material that directly targets, and appeals to, children. The content is produced and copyrighted by one of the major commercial broadcast television networks
and they're using the publicly-owned airwaves as a promotional vehicle to drive traffic to the 'ADHD' website. The suits at Fox will need to explain how such a use of their broadcast licenses fulfills their statutory public interest obligation.
The Parents Television Council welcomed the news that Fox Broadcasting has decided to cancel its Animation Domination High-Def (ADHD) programming block, and praised the efforts of parents and families across the country for raising their
According to Broadcasting & Cable: Some [Fox affiliates] had tired of fielding calls from upset viewers.
PTC President Tim Winter said:
Parents and families across the country rose up and called on their local Fox affiliates not to air 'ADHD' because of the violent and sexually explicit content, which routinely used familiar and beloved children's characters as tropes. We
congratulate our members on their activism which has led Fox Broadcasting to make this wise decision.
The Parents Television Council is denouncing the FX network for airing the most sexually explicit content the PTC has ever documented on basic cable. The November 11th episode of Sons of Anarchy opened with approximately two and
one-half minutes of graphically depicted sex among several couples. The explicit content, of the type previously available only on a la carte premium networks or pay-per-view, aired as early as 9 pm in half of the country.
Media Post described this scene like this :
This sequence ... featured seven couples in the act of intense lovemaking. ... For the record, this sequence left nothing to the imagination. It was probably the rawest sex I have ever seen depicted on TV outside of HBO and Showtime -- and
that's saying a lot.
PTC President Tim Winter spouted:
Last week's episode of 'Sons of Anarchy' opened with the most sexually explicit content we've ever seen on basic cable, content normally found on premium subscription networks like HBO or Showtime.
The Parents Television Council has released its annual list of Best TV Advertisers , which catalogues companies based on the television content they chose to underwrite with their media dollars over the past year. PTC President Tim
As we approach the Christmas and holiday shopping season, we present this list of 'Best and Worst TV Advertisers' so that consumers can vote with their wallet and reward those companies that have clearly demonstrated a commitment to responsible
sponsorship practices. Our list also identifies those companies that have shown little or no regard for the explicit content that their media dollars helped to underwrite.
What people see on TV is influential. TV advertisers certainly know it to be true, otherwise they would not have spent $86 billion last year just on U.S. television. The sole purchase of spending each dollar was to convince Americans to buy
their goods and services. The ability to influence children does not stop once the commercial break is over and the program begins.
We applaud those companies that are on our 'best' list, as they have shown a willingness to evaluate and adjust their ad buys in order to take into consideration the concerns of parents about the quality and content of programming that's
accessible to children.
At the same time, we urge those companies on our 'worst' list to re-evaluate their ad buys on TV shows that routinely feature graphic sex, violence, and profanity, and that have the potential to permanently lower standards for TV content across
the board. It's time for companies to consider the impact on children and families that comes from their day-to-day business decision-making.
So congratulations to the advertisers that have most wound up the PTC:
Fast Food Restaurants
Yum! Brands: KFC, Taco Bell
Gap, Inc.: The Gap, Old Navy
Johnson & Johnson: Aveeno, Visine, Splenda, Listerine, Clean & Clear
The US morality campaign group, The Parents Television Council, writes:
The Parents Television Council (PTC) is urging McDonald's to reconsider sponsoring Fox Broadcasting's new series, Scream Queens , which has featured graphic gore and sexual content that would typically be seen in R-rated movies, and that
airs as early as 7 pm in half of the country. McDonald's ads have appeared on the first four episodes of the new TV show.
The PTC's review of Scream Queens said, Parents are warned: mean-spirited, sexualized, gory horror show is unsafe for children of any age. Content in the show has included a character's face being fried in hot cooking fat; another character is
sprayed with hydrochloric acid, with close-ups showing her bloody skin burning and melting off; several young sorority pledges are buried in the ground up to their necks while the Devil drives over their heads on a riding mower. The episode that
aired on October 6 th featured a discussion about necrophilia.
PTC President Tim Winter said:
The Golden Arches brand now stands for sexual fantasies with dead people and with decapitating college coeds. No wonder McDonald's is having problems attracting families, when millions of the company's media dollars underwrite such content on
Scream Queens early in the evening on primetime broadcast TV.
Not only is McDonald's financing a toxic media culture, they are hurting their own pocketbooks. We urge McDonald's to do well and to do good at the same time, by changing course and recognizing what scientific research has already proven to be
true -- that advertising on TV shows with explicit content can truly be bad for business.
One such study is from the Department of Psychology at Iowa State University and suggests that programs with high levels of violent or sexual content can actually repress the viewers' ability to recall advertised brands. By contrast, subjects
who watched 'neutral' programming were better able to recall the ads the following day.
Nevertheless, and amid falling sales, McDonald's corporate marketing team has continued to compromise its image and reputation as a family-friendly fast-food destination with poor sponsorship decisions; and those sponsorship decisions are
hurting the McDonald's brand, hurting McDonald's reputation with families, and hurting their franchisees.
It's time for McDonald's to stop sponsoring offensive and harmful TV content, especially early in primetime when the content is so easily accessible to kids.
The Parents Television Council announced the companies that it chose for its annual Best/Worst Advertisers List. The Best companies on this list have demonstrated willingness to support positive TV programming including TV shows that
routinely feature sex, violence, and profanity, and have not responded to moralist calls to reevaluate their sponsorship behavior.
Some of those shows include: Family Guy , which over the past year has featured 'jokes' about sexually assaulting children; Wicked City , a serial killer-focused drama that routinely shows graphic violence and sex; Scream Queens
, which shows graphic gore akin to R-rated horror movies.
PTC asks Americans to use this list as they begin their holiday shopping, to reward the good ones and avoid the bad ones.
Worst miserable gits
Best fun filled sponsors
Nestle; Mondelez International (Trident, Dentyne, Bubblicious, Toblerone)
The Parents Television Council, a US morality campaign group is warning families about the violent content in a new TV miniseries, Of Kings and Prophets airing on ABC.
The PTC's review indicated that the first episode contains a number of battles with swords, knives, spears, and other graphically violent content that ranges between the type of violent content found in The Lord of the Rings movies and 300
. There is some mild sexual content in the first episode. As such, the PTC cannot recommend this show for children. PTC President Tim Winter said:
Despite the fact that the miniseries is based on a book that most families in America have at home -- that book being the Bible -- parents should be forewarned that Of Kings and Prophets will not be appropriate for family viewing. While we are
grateful that the show runner, Chris Brancato, personally invited us to preview the first episode, it remains difficult for us to recommend this show to families given the graphic content. And given Mr. Brancato said that he'll be ' fighting
with broadcast standards and practices ' and that ' we're going to go as far as we can' throughout the series, there's likely to be even more explicit content in upcoming episodes
The real question here is, why wouldn't ABC and the show's producers want to reach the largest audience possible by making a series, based on the Bible, able to be viewed by families? Instead it appears that their primary objective was to be
edgy and explicit, rather than to entertain with a biblical story. And in so doing, they're carving away a large percentage of their potential market. This further demonstrates a disconnect between what the entertainment industry wants to
produce and what family audiences want to consume.
We hope that families will be forewarned about the content of this show and not mistakenly watch with their children. No doubt the network will rate the program TV-14, suggesting to parents that the material is appropriate for children as young
The Parents Television Council responded to the news that ABC cancelled Of Kings and Prophets after only two episodes aired:
The only reason networks cancel a show without burning off the remaining episodes is that there is no advertiser support. The dollars simply aren't there, and it is more economical for them to air something else entirely -- despite the fact that
they've paid for those unaired episodes. And based on the conversations we've had over the past few days with several of the most premiere sponsors in the country -- during which we questioned their underwriting such over-the-top graphic
violence in 'Of Kings and Prophets,' it was clear that advertiser support for the show was quickly evaporating. While we applaud ABC's cancellation of the show, we can't help but wonder why they would choose to air it in the first place.
In a new campaign article analyzing the past 20 years of the TV Content Ratings System, the Parents Television Council has found widespread, systemic problems that render the system inadequate for protecting children from graphic sex, violence,
and profanity on television. PTC President Tim Winter spouted:
Parents who rely on the TV Content Ratings System to make informed decisions about what to watch on television have been deceived, as our new research shows that the ratings system has systemically failed to provide accurate and consistent
information for its entire 20-year existence.
The campaign group claimed:
Regularly-scheduled series rated TV-G (appropriate for all audiences) have been eliminated from prime time. In all practicality, family shows rated for all audiences do not exist;
There are fewer programs on prime time broadcast television rated TV-PG;
There are fewer differences between the content of programs rated TV-PG and those rated TV-14;
Graphic content on television is increasing in both amount and intensity; yet
Every hour of content on broadcast television is rated as appropriate for a 14-year-old child, or even younger ages. Despite containing explicit content, no continuing program on broadcast television is rated TV-MA, appropriate for mature
The implications in our report are enormous and should give the TV industry significant pause. The industry should have to answer as to why TV-G rated primetime series are extinct; why the lines between TV-PG and TV-14 shows are blurred; why
more adult content is being shown on TV-PG shows; why nudity and violence are increasing on broadcast TV overall.
One reason for the problem is that the TV networks rate their own shows, creating an inherent conflict of interest. You don't see any TV-MA rated (the highest adult TV rating) shows on broadcast TV. It's not that some of the shows don't warrant
the MA rating, it's that the networks are financially motivated not to rate programs properly because most corporate sponsors won't advertise on MA-rated programs.
Another conflict of interest is that the TV networks run the board that oversees the ratings process. That board, the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, has enabled and sheltered this flawed ratings system rather than follow its
FCC-sanctioned mandate to monitor the system and improve upon it where necessary. For years, we have addressed our concerns to the Board but to no real avail.
The Parents Television Council urged the FCC and Congress to reform the TV Content Ratings System, in light of Disney-owned ABC giving a PG rating to content on The Real O'Neals which has included explicit language, jokes about child
molestation, and discussions of pornography. The Real O'Neals airs as early as 7:30 pm in half the country. By comparison, Disney films Cinderella and The Good Dinosaur were rated PG. PTC President Tim Winter said:.
ABC's PG rating of the adult content on 'The Real O'Neals' is a prime example why we have been urging reform of the TV Content Ratings System. This kind of adult content should not be given such a low rating, especially when you compare this
content to PG-rated Disney films Cinderella and The Good Dinosaur. It's a slap in the face to all parents that TV discussions about pedophilia, genitalia, and explicit language merit the same rating as child-friendly films.
Dialogue on the Tuesday, May 3rd Real O'Neals episode included lead character and minor Kenny saying, They're gonna saran-wrap your balls to your face, and his brother Jimmy urging him to steal people's phones and take pictures
of our junk. Also included was dialogue by a Catholic school vice-principal about molesting his male students. Addressing Kenny, Vice-Principal Murray says, If you're not comfortable sleeping with all those boys because of your â?¦
blossoming sexuality, you can sleep in here. Not with me, of course. I will be sleeping with all the other boys, in a manner that makes light of child molestation.
On the April 26th episode (also rated PG), the family's father, Pat, remarked, I was married for 18 years. You know, there's so many new things out now. It'sâ?¦ I guess the sexting and the snapchat. I mean, I've never taken a picture of my
junk, while Kenny realized, Oh my God, I've been making Mom porn.
In a March study , the PTC found that The Real O'Neals contained an instance of adult content every 43 seconds. Eighty-three percent of all the adult-themed content was sexual (83.3%), and most of it involved the 16-year-old Kenny, a
minor. In light of this new evidence, we urge the FCC and Congress to overhaul the TV Content Ratings System. It clearly needs to change to better serve parents and families, and not the self-serving entertainment industry.
The US morality campaign group, Parents Television Council, has had a whinge at a new VH1 series, Dating Naked. Of course viewers never get to see anybody naked, only pixellisation.
The Parents TV Council is attacking the show via its advertisers and write:
The Parents Television Council is urging its members and the public to contact Samsung and Sprint to reconsider advertising support for a sexually-explicit dating show that's rated for children as young as 14.
Both companies sponsored the first two episodes of VH1's Dating Naked, a reality show in which the contestants are completely naked all the time. VH1 rated the episode TV-14, meaning that VH1 execs believe that it is acceptable for 14-year-olds
to watch. PTC President Tim Winter said:
Most parents would be shocked to find their young teenagers watching this sexually-explicit nude dating show. But VH1, in all its wisdom, believes this kind of content is appropriate for middle school and high school aged children. Samsung and
Sprint must agree, given their ad buys on the first two episodes and despite our warnings about the content ahead of time. Surely, parents will take pause at these companies for sponsoring 'Dating Naked,' and at VH1 for marketing this nude
reality show to their children.
Most of the sponsors from last week's episode chose not to return this week, and for that we are grateful. But companies like Samsung and Sprint chose to align their corporate brands with the loathsome content on Dating Naked. Teen-targeted explicit programming would not exist but for corporate sponsors that support them with their ad dollars. As such, we are urging our members and public to contact these companies to express their concerns.
Later Parents Television Council scored a further wind when advertisers pulled out. Mondelez, Hhgregg and Henkel told VH1 to stop running their ads during the reality show.
Mondelez said in an email to the PTC
We have specific guidelines in place to help steward our media spend, which should prevent our ads from appearing in this type of programming Mondeleez International did not purchase this program specifically and has not previously aired ads on
the program. In keeping with our policy, we have directed our media partner to ensure that we do not run advertising for any of our brands on this program in the future.
Out of an abundance of caution, we have also requested a programming schedule for rotation buys to ensure that the specific programs are acceptable to Mondeleez International.
Our buying guidelines are very specific in terms of program content, precluding the inclusion of shows that feature the kind of gratuitous sexuality in 'Dating Naked.' Unfortunately, errors do occasionally occur and our spot mistakenly ran
within the program. We have informed VH1 that this program, and all similar programming on their network, is to be specifically eliminated from all current and future hhgregg television buys.
Moralist TV campaigners at Parents TV Council have praised a new TV comedy, The Mick . The PTC writes:
The Parents Television Council is urging its members and the public to tell Verizon to stop underwriting graphic content on Fox's new TV show, The Mick, which disturbingly features minor children using explicit language and put into
sexualized situations. Ads for Verizon FiOS and Pixel were aired on The Mick.
In the show, teens are shown smoking, drinking, and swearing, as their alcoholic, drug-using aunt does nothing to set boundaries or stop them. A six- or seven-year-old boy accidentally ingests a balloon filled with drugs; a teenage girl has sex
with an adult man and engages in a drinking contest with her legal guardian, among other egregious examples.
PTC President Tim Winter. said:
Verizon should refuse to be associated with such destructive and harmful TV content on 'The Mick.' Apparently the show's producers and network executives believe such disturbing content is appropriate for the public airwaves, even at times when
children are likely to be watching. Verizon must choose whether it will invest its media dollars to underwrite such content. Child characters should not be used for 'shock value,' and supporting a show that makes children participants in that
kind of vulgarity directly calls into question Verizon's corporate standards
The PTC recently documented that broadcast TV shows are more frequently using children to say explicit language and put them in adult situations, a trend that The Mick continues.
Eighth Grade is a 2018 USA comedy by Bo Burnham.
Starring Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton and Emily Robinson.
An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.
Eight Grade is a US film aimed at 8th graders but its 8th grade strong language has resulted in it being rated R by the MPAA. The R rating means that with graders cannot see the film at theatres unless accompanied by their parents.
The film makers from A24 Studio are not impressed by their target audience being disallowed so organised nationwide screenings where the R rating was not enforced (age restrictions are legally voluntary n the US). 50 no-rating-enforced screenings
were organised on August 8. The studio partnered with one theater in every state across America for the screenings.
But US moralist campaigners were not happy. The Parents Television Council called on the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to hold the A24 Studio accountable for those under 17s admitted without a parent. PTC President Tim Winter
Subjective declarations such as the one by A24 -- that some content is 'too important' to be labeled in accordance with the standards set forth by the MPAA and understood, trusted and relied upon by parents -- undermine and negate the entire
purpose of having the content rating system in the first place. In this instance, and based upon empirical data of this film's content, the Hollywood studio at issue here is grotesquely and irresponsibly usurping parental authority. Either the
standard means something or it means nothing. Those who are openly violating both the spirit and the letter of the age-based content ratings system for this publicity stunt should be held to account by the MPAA.
An era of adult television has come to an and, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times , which reported that the Time-Warner owned, pay cable network HBO has spent the summer, quietly and without fanfare, removing its once-prodigious
library of erotic documentaries and entertainment programs from the network and the HBO streaming platforms, HBO Go and HBO Now.
Since the 1990s, HBO has produced and broadcast such series as the influential Real Sex , the Las Vegas brothel reality series Cathouse , and recurring instructional sex specials hosted by adult performer Katie Morgan.
But HBO has not produced new adult late night programs for several years, and now the network will no longer offer repeats or archived shows from its adult category either.
While HBO's new owner, the telecom giant AT&T, informed HBO employees earlier this year that it planned big changes for the network, the elimination of HBO's erotic fare, network execs told the Times , was not mandated by AT&T and in fact
began well before the telecom conglomerate took over. The reason that HBO is ditching their late night lineup, according to what one spokesperson told the Times , is simply that HBO viewers have lost interest, most likely due to the proliferation
of adult content online.
US moralists always want more. The Parents Television Council writes:
The Parents Television Council applauds HBO and its corporate parent, AT&T, for removing the pornographic content from its platform -- but urges AT&T to make the same move by removing X-rated pornographic content from DirecTV. PTC
President Tim Winter whinged:
AT&T's HBO made a wise decision to remove pornographic content, even citing that 'there wasn't strong demand for this kind of adult programming.' While that is a huge positive step forward, the same logic should also extend to AT&T-owned
DirecTV, which still offers hardcore pornographic content to subscribers.
How can a company that says it is built on responsibility continue to deliver and profit from pornography? How much does DirecTV porn really increase the earnings per share? Is this a reasonable tradeoff for a so-called responsible company?
Given that AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson was the 36th National President of the Boy Scouts, it's hard to reconcile that role with the DirecTV pornographic lineup. Are the explicit pornographic titles on DirecTV about grandmothers, mothers,
or stepsisters what he wants his scouts to be thinking of?
The Parents Television Council have reported that the FCC is required to review the TV content ratings system and report on the effectiveness of the system within 90 days, as per the Appropriations Bill of 2019. Specifically, the Conference
Committee Report says:
Oversight Monitoring and Rating System.-In lieu of Senate report language on oversight monitoring and rating system, the FCC is directed to report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate within 90 days of enactment of this
Act on the extent to which the rating system matches the video content that is being shown and the ability of the TV Parental Guidelines Oversight Monitoring Board to address public concerns.
PTC President Tim Winter said:
Finally, after more than 20 years, Congress is addressing the needs of families and the welfare of children by formally calling for the first-ever regulatory review of the TV Content Ratings System and its ostensible oversight. We are elated
that this important legislative wording was adopted as part of the appropriations bill that funds the federal government for this fiscal year.
The Parents Television Council has issued an urgent warning to parents ahead of the premiere of HBO's teen-targeted show Euphoria. PTC President Tim Winter said:
Just as MTV did with Skins and as Netflix is doing with 13 Reasons Why , HBO, with its new high school centered show Euphoria , appears to be overtly, intentionally, marketing extremely graphic adult content -- sex,
violence, profanity and drug use -- to teens and preteens.
HBO might attach a content rating suggesting that it is intended for mature audiences, but let's be real here: who watches a show about high school children, except high school and junior high school-aged children?
While HBO is a premium cable network, parents who are HBO subscribers may be blindsided by HBO's new attempt to market such explicit content directly to minors. And the parental blindside is greatly exacerbated by ubiquitous streaming apps that
deliver such explicit content directly to a teen's phone or computer screen. Parents urgently need to be aware of HBO's grossly irresponsible programming decision.