• An Open Letter to Matt Groening

    by  • August 7, 2014 • 4 Every Girl, Cable Choice, Ratings Reform, Sexualization, Violence • 30 Comments

    Dear Matt (with a copy to Seth MacFarlane),  simpsons1920

    There is nothing funny about rape.

    According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, an American is sexually assaulted every two minutes.  The damage, both physical and emotional, is incalculable.  Too many have suffered and too few of us have been spared the impact of these horrific crimes among our friends, family and people we love.

    So why is rape a punch line to you?

    In the upcoming crossover episode of The Simpsons and Family Guy, there is a cruel, callous “joke” about the rape of a character’s sister.  There may be other references to sexual assault that the public simply hasn’t been made aware of yet, but we do know about this one.  In fact, it’s already been widely disseminated on YouTube.

    Both The Simpsons and Family Guy are animated programs with a natural appeal, particularly to children.  Both programs enjoy a large viewership of children, despite the edgy and often irreverent material.  Moreover, every single episode of both programs has been rated by the FOX broadcast network as appropriate for children.

    Matt, I have been a fan of your work as far back as the mid-1980s when your strip appeared in the LA Weekly.  You are powerfully witty without resorting to the use of rape as a punch-line.  Seth has, unfortunately, used rape, molestation, pedophilia and other heinous crimes against children as humor, and he is now doing it routinely.  You’re better than that.

    I respectfully and humbly urge you not to allow “Springfield” to be a place where we are asked to laugh at humanity’s most heinous and disgusting crimes against children.  Please don’t allow your powerful platform to be used to desensitize your fans as to the horror of sexual exploitation.  Don’t our daughters, our children and grandchildren, and our families deserve better?

    There is nothing funny about rape.

    Sincerely and personally,

    Tim Winter

    cc:  Seth MacFarlane



    Tim Winter is president of the Parents Television Council. He has more than 20 years in broadcasting, cable, internet and new media technologies, along with a law degree.

    30 Responses to An Open Letter to Matt Groening

    1. January 6, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Matt Groening, I enjoy watching ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Futurama’ back when I was growing up.
      I’ve heard that ‘The Simpsons’ is going off the air pretty soon, but I’ve been wanting to see my new couch gag;

      It starts off that there was no couch and there was no message about it. When the Simpsons ran into the room, Homer ran to the spot where the couch sits at, but Marge, holding Maggie, Lisa, and Bart just stood behind him and in front of the TV.
      In a few seconds, the couch bounces on Homer 4 times and Homer cries out ‘D’oh!’ 4 times that same time, and Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie, still standing in front of the TV, watched the couch bouncing on Homer.

    2. Frank
      August 29, 2014 at 8:42 am

      You guys must be a blast at parties.

      • PTC-CR
        August 29, 2014 at 9:59 am

        Actually, the whole crew here at the Parents Television Council has lots of fun. We just understand that when children are watching or nearby, adults need to be very aware of what children see or hear. Responsible adults have understood this for thousands of years. Somehow, many networks have decided is it acceptable to rate shows with adult content (with sexual behavior, profanity, extreme violence) as appropriate for kids, with some shows even on cartoons.

        We, as do most parents and grandparents (when they know about it), have a problem with this and we work to educate families, advertisers, public officials and concerned citizens about the broken trust that the networks have embraced. Our children are too important to not do anything.

        Feel free to join us at http://www.parentstv.org/joinus.

    3. Ken Obuszewski
      August 23, 2014 at 4:34 am

      It is disgusting to use animation to attract children to watch so that these people can then promote their God less agendas

    4. Dana
      August 19, 2014 at 7:54 am

      Did you know that the Discovery Fit & Health channel is having a “SEXtember” theme? ENOUGH ALREADY! Used to be such a fun and interesting channel to watch….

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