• Hollywood’s Broken Promise: More Gun Violence Aimed At Kids

    by  • November 11, 2013 • Misrated, Ratings Reform, Studies, Violence • 0 Comments

    In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, the entertainment industry promised “to provide parents the tools necessary to make the right viewing decisions for their families.” Now, a new study shows how they’ve kept that promise: more gun violence than ever in PG-13 movies.

    Media violence

    A new study by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center and Ohio State University that found several disturbing trends  with regards to violence in PG-13 rated films.

    “Gun violence in PG-13 movies has more than tripled since 1985, the study’s authors write. In fact, last year movies with that rating contained more gun violence than the top-grossing R-rated movies. Since 2009, the amount of carnage in PG-13 films has been roughly equivalent to films that are rated R,” according to The Wrap.

    “These findings prove once again that the entertainment industry’s concern about shielding children from graphic media violence begins and ends at its wallet. The industry is financially motivated to give films lower ratings and the MPAA has let them get away with it. This is an outrage,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

    “In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, entertainment industry executives met with Vice President Joe Biden on January 10, 2013 and said that they have a ‘longstanding commitment to provide parents the tools necessary to make the right viewing decisions for their families’. How are we to really believe that a marked increase in gun violence in films rated as PG-13 constitutes giving parents ‘the tools necessary’? Did Hollywood warn parents that there was a staggering increase in violence in PG-13 rated films? No, they didn’t.

    Our own research showed that during a one month period starting the day after the VP Biden meeting on January 11, 2013 to February 11, 2013, there were 934 individual scenes of violence within 193 primetime broadcast TV shows that contained violence. And all of it was rated by the networks as being appropriate for children as young as 14. How could that not be cause for parental concern?

    “Contrary to the claims of a small minority of so-called media violence ‘researchers,’ including Stetson University professor Christopher Ferguson who, ironically, has personally produced graphically-violent media, parents are indeed deeply concerned about these findings. More graphic violence is creeping into films that are assigned younger age ratings. And over 3,000 medical and sociological studies in the last 50 years have demonstrated that children are affected by the media content they consume.

    “We commend the study authors, Brad Bushman of Ohio State University, Patrick E. Jamieson, Ilana Weitz and Daniel Romer of the Annenberg Center, for their important work. And we call on the MPAA immediately to institute a more accurate, consistent, transparent and publicly accountable content ratings system.”

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