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Press Release

PTC to MTV: Keep Explicit Sexual Content Off 2014 Video Music Awards

By: Kelly Oliver

Release Date: 8/18/2014

LOS ANGELES (August 18, 2014) – In a letter to MTV, the Parents Television Council called on the network to rate the upcoming August 24th broadcast of the Video Music Awards appropriately, and provide assurance that it will not contain mis-rated sexual content as happened during the 2013 awards show.

In a letter to Janet Borelli, SVP Standards & Practices at MTV Networks/Viacom Media Networks, and copied to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, PTC President Tim Winter wrote the following:

“Parents and families around the country have had ample reason to be concerned about the material distributed and promoted by MTV over the years, particularly during MTV’s original programming.

“While last year’s Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance garnered most of the headlines after the fact, the sexually charged and otherwise inappropriate content of the show was not limited to them. Even more troubling was the fact that MTV still applied a TV-14 rating to the program, despite other adult-oriented performances and advertising messages. Such a rating was simply unacceptable to the families who depend on the television ratings system to be applied accurately and to the millions of families whose children are marketed to by MTV. The 2013 VMAs were a public relations kerfuffle for your network that I feel certain you will not wish to repeat.

“Consequently, on behalf of our membership and millions of other concerned parents, I call on MTV to take the following proactive steps, prior to the upcoming Video Music Awards telecast:

  1. “Commit publicly that the program will not contain the type of explicit sexual content present in last year’s show
  1. “Commit publicly that the program will not violate MTV/Viacom’s own standards and practices as was alleged last year
  1. “Commit publicly to rate the program accurately and in accordance with the TV Parental Guidelines which stipulate that crude indecent language, explicit sexual activity, or graphic violence is to be rated as appropriate only for adults - TV-MA.

“I eagerly await your prompt reply, and sincerely hope MTV will help parents and families to better navigate their children’s media environment.”

Read the PTC statement from the 2013 MTV VMAs here.

The Parents Television Council® ( is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media.

This national grassroots organization has more than 1.4 million members, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children.

The PTC™ also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

Visit the new PTC Watchdog Blog at

Follow the PTC on Twitter: @ThePTC.
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To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 307-9404 or email at