• PTC Calls for Reform of TV & Movie Ratings Systems

    by  • January 8, 2014 • Misrated, Studies, Violence • 5 Comments

     The Parents Television Council is calling for a complete reform of the television and motion picture ratings systems to address recently documented inaccuracies and inconsistencies of both.NC-17 Rating

    This week marks one year since Vice President Joe Biden held meetings with entertainment industry executives about the issue of media violence. After the meeting, industry leaders said that they have a ‘longstanding commitment to provide parents the tools necessary to make the right viewing decisions for their families.’

    “In one year, the industry has done nothing to reduce media violence, and new research shows the networks routinely assign age ratings for horrifically violent content on broadcast TV deeming it appropriate for children. Movies are no better, as new research found that PG-13 rated films contain as much violence as R-rated films,” said PTC President Tim Winter. 

    “In order for the system to work properly, content ratings must be accurate, consistent, transparent and publicly accountable. The current system is none of that. It’s time for a comprehensive overhaul of these ratings systems, and those whom the system is intended to serve – parents and families – must be allowed a seat at the table.”

    Parents Television Council research released last month found that some of the most violent TV-14-rated shows on broadcast TV have similar levels and types of violence as TV-MA-rated cable TV shows. Content such as child molestation, rape, mutilation/disfigurement, dismemberment, graphic killings and/or injuries by gunfire and stabbings, violent abductions, physical torture, cannibalism, burning flesh and suicide all showed up as types of violence in the study – yet broadcast TV programs containing these types of violence were rated as appropriate for 14-year-old children.

    The Annenberg Public Policy Center and Ohio State University found that PG-13 rated films contain as much violence as R-rated films. And another Annenberg Public Policy Center study also found that there was more sex and violence in movies rated PG-13 vs. those with R-ratings.

    “The industry’s lack of effort since the Biden meeting would be laughable if the consequences of an entertainment media culture awash in violence weren’t so sobering. But they are. More than 3,000 medical and sociological studies in the last 50 years have proven that children are affected by the media content they consume.

    “Parents instinctively protect their children from harmful content because they know that children are impacted by what they see. But they cannot protect their children by relying on an inaccurate ratings system. The need for reform is urgent, and the time for reform is now,” Winter concluded.

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    5 Responses to PTC Calls for Reform of TV & Movie Ratings Systems

    1. Lloyd Sutton
      January 10, 2014 at 5:25 am

      Our family supports PTCs effort for an accurate “rating” system. It appears TV and movie content has gotten more violent, vulgar, sexually explicit, and generally bizzare and intrusve into our personal lives. My friends and I went to see the movie “The wolf of Wallstreet” which was misrated “R”. The explicit sexuality, gross vulgarity, ill mannered, disrespect, intolerant behavior and misrepresentation of a financial industry that is the envy of the world is unexceptable for decent and fair minded citizens. Thfully, theater refunded cost of the tickets for several dozen people in the audience.

      We are even seriously considering cancelling our Cox TV Program due the things mentioned above. My conscience bothers me that I have to pay for programming that is in conflict with my religious and personal convictions. Also, I shouln’t have to explain to my grandchildren why ill-behavior of actors is necessary in a movie or TV program.

      Thank you, Grandpa in Arkansas

    2. James
      January 10, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      I don’t think that you guys realize this, but the ratings system is based off how graphic something is, not if it exists or not. “Fuck” is allowed once in a PG-13 movie, but not “Motherfucker” because motherfucker is generally more graphic. If anything, they need to adjust in an opposite direction. Art imitates life and life imitates art, and generally the most influential people in a public school are those who watch R-Rated films. If anything, your child is picking up language that you would rate NC-17, and probably has at least once seen pornography (which is considered more graphic than an NC-17 rated film). I don’t see why this website continues to fight against television and cheapening it’s artistic ability by throwing a tantrum when they show something on TV that, in your opinion, should not be shown to a 14-year old.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        January 13, 2014 at 8:18 am

        James,

        “art” (assuming, of course, that spewing the f-bomb constitutes “art,” but we’ll let that pass) doesn’t merely “imitate” life; it INFLUENCES life. By glamorizing the use of foul language, television and other media coarsen and cheapen our language and our entire culture, and promote greater incivility in society. One didn’t routinely find teenagers using the f-word in public, or swearing at adults, 30 years ago; now one does — and it’s largely attributable to the influence of media.

        You may feel that media “needs to adjust in an opposite direction” (feature MORE profanity?). Suffice to say, many parents would disagree.

    3. Daniel Belgrave
      January 15, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      How About Color Code TV amd Movie Ratings, sound good?

    4. Martín Villafuerte
      February 2, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      I envision a rating system that would look like this: G for general audiences, PG for parental guidance for children under 7, PG13 for parental guidance for children under 13, M for mature audiences (16 years and up) and R for adults only (18 years and up).

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