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Press Release

Coalition Urges FCC to Evaluate TV Content Ratings System’s Failure to Protect Children from Harmful TV Content

Petition Calling for Ratings Reform Launched

Release Date: 5/9/2016

LOS ANGELES (May 9, 2016) – In a letter addressed to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and each FCC Commissioner, the Parents Television Council and 27 other organizations and individuals concerned about the media’s impact on children urged the Commission “to take immediate steps to evaluate whether the existing age-based television content ratings system is serving the needs of parents and families.”

The full letter can be found here.

The PTC also launched a petition so that members of the public can join the chorus of voices calling for change of the TV Content Ratings System.

“This broad coalition of organizations and individuals is urging the FCC to review the woefully-ineffective TV Content Ratings System, which is failing to protect children from harmful and explicit TV content on both broadcast and cable television. Signatories to this letter span the political spectrum, thereby demonstrating the severity of an issue in urgent need of attention by our public servants in Washington,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“The TV Content Ratings System is an FCC-sanctioned regime that was ostensibly created to help parents protect their children from explicit television programming. Instead, parents are being deceived by a system that serves as a Trojan Horse for delivering age-inappropriate content into living rooms around the country on a daily basis. Not only do the TV networks face a financial conflict of interest in rating programs accurately, but the integrity of the system is handed to an ‘oversight body’ that is controlled by the very same TV network executives who rate the programs wrong to begin with.

“As a first step, we are urging the FCC to overhaul this self-serving Oversight Monitoring Board, and as our letter states, ‘to review and revise the statues under which the TVOMB is organized to better ensure consistency, transparency, accuracy and accountability; and to guarantee that the ratings are serving the families for whom they were intended, not merely providing cover for the entertainment industry. We are also asking concerned Americans to sign our petition so their voices calling for reform can be heard,” Winter added.

“A review and overhaul of this arcane and opaque process is long overdue, and I hope a thorough review will provide an opportunity to use current technology for a more open and responsive ratings system,” said Nell Minow, Movie Mom™, and daughter of former FCC Chairman Newton Minow.

The 28 coalition members include: The Parents Television Council; American Family Association; American Family Association of Pennsylvania; American Decency Association; Awake America Ministries; BarbWire.com; The Brushfires Foundation; Brad J. Bushman, Ph.D., The Ohio State University; Citizens for Community Values; Citizens for Community Values of Indiana; Delman Coates, Ph.D., Mt. Ennon Baptist Church; Concerned Women for America; Enough is Enough; Family Research Council; Hawaii Christian Coalition; Industry Ears; Institute for Healthy Families; Institute for Youth Development; Jewish Institute for Global Awareness; Media Research Center; Meridian Magazine; Mission America; Morality in Media; Nell Minow, Movie MomTM; National Center on Sexual Exploitation; One Million Moms; Rap Rehab; Southern Evangelical Seminary.

For more information about the TV Content Ratings System, visit www.ParentsTV.org/RR.

Twitter hashtags: #TVRatings #RatingsReform

The Parents Television Council® (www.parentstv.org) 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 www.parentstv.org/blog.

Follow the PTC on Twitter: @ThePTC.
 
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ptcusa.

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 307-9404 or email at kelly@kellyoliverpr.com.