• PTC Warns Parents, Advertisers About Graphic Torture Scene on Tonight’s Premiere of CBS’ “Stalker”

    by  • October 1, 2014 • Misrated, Violence • 7 Comments


    LOS ANGELES (October 1, 2014) – The Parents Television Council is warning parents and advertisers about tonight’s premiere of CBS’ “Stalker,” which opens with a graphically violent scene featuring a woman being tortured and murdered, and will presumably be rated with a TV-14 rating, meaning CBS deems it appropriate for 14-year-old children. The episode will air as early as 9 pm Central/Mountain time.

    The Wrap described the scene like this: “The first two minutes of CBS’s new crime drama ‘Stalker’ are horrific. An innocent woman is taunted, tortured and murdered by a masked man whose only desire is to see his victim writhe in agony and fear before she dies at his hand. Making matters worse, the attack is so realistic and gruesome that it feels like the show’s writer and executive producer, Kevin Williamson, is reveling in the brutality.”

    The Wrap also said that “Stalker” was different than other shows like “Criminal Minds and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:” “But there is something especially nihilistic about ‘Stalker,’ which debuts Wednesday, and the way it handles violence against women.”

    “Tonight, CBS and 200 of its affiliated stations around the nation will use the public airwaves ostensibly for ‘torture porn.’ How does that serve the public interest, as mandated by every broadcast license issued to CBS stations by the FCC? It doesn’t. And it’s time that those who distribute and sponsor TV shows like ‘Stalker’ are held publicly to account for exhibiting graphic and gratuitous violence, especially against women,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

    “Our country is mired in a national dialogue about shocking levels of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault. Entertainment that is saturated with violence against women – or violence against any person for that matter – will only foment such horrific, real-life conduct. Airing such material on primetime broadcast television is grossly irresponsible. Unfortunately, our own research demonstrates that violence against women on primetime broadcast TV is growing at exponentially higher rates than violence generally.”

    The PTC has documented disturbing TV trends about violence against women, including: a) Violence against women and teenage girls is increasing on television at rates that far exceed the overall increases in violence on television (from 2004-2009), and b) Violence towards women or the graphic consequences of violence tends overwhelmingly to be depicted (92%) rather than implied (5%) or described (3%). Source: PTC’s “Women in Peril” study

    “We are warning parents about this graphic scene, given that it will air at the beginning of the show and that it will presumably carry a very low TV-14 rating. Since the episode contains graphic violence, the accurate rating for the program according to the industry’s own standard is TV-MA. Rating this type of material as appropriate for a child would not only be wrong, it would be fraudulent,” Winter said.

    “And we are warning advertisers not to associate their brands with such toxic TV material that shows gratuitous harm to women. Advertisers do have the power to create change, as evidenced by a number of NFL sponsors who have urged the league to confront domestic violence and have succeeded in doing so. It’s time for a wholesale change in how women are portrayed on TV and the time to do that is now,” Winter added.



    7 Responses to PTC Warns Parents, Advertisers About Graphic Torture Scene on Tonight’s Premiere of CBS’ “Stalker”

    1. March 13, 2018 at 12:59 am

      Such shows should not be aired. I appeal spectrum and its retailers like mycableinternet.com and others to take notice and ban such shows.

    2. Nicholas Kromer
      October 3, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Here is a suggestion to all those who are inundated with cable companies knocking on your door, trying to entice you to switch to their product. Tell them ” I would be happy to switch if, your company offered to allow me to choose which channels I wish to purchase”. No discussion.

      I believe if enough folks did just that, we would make quicker headway to see that option become a reality.

      In the meantime, call you local cable / internet / TV network company and tell them just how disgusted you are with them.

      No discussion, just “how disgusted you are”.

      If anything, you will feel better and take some satisfaction that you had your voice heard.

      • Elena
        October 21, 2014 at 9:34 am

        Hi! I’m glad not been the only one astonished by the volume of violence on TV. , (as well at children as an adult level). It is sick.

        How to stop it? it is starting inside of families; there is no other way.! Bad people get covered and protected by the

        right to “freedom of expression”; they pollute , intoxicate, poison, and destroy the society.

        Parents!!: watch the back of your kids! while you are working hard, studying, preparing a dinner or resting a little bit

        the evils from this world ( not the ones with red tails and pointing ears ) the evil of this world might be a handsome

        and nice tailored suit’s man/women just using bad instincts for the love o money.

        I have disconnected my cable long time ago. I refused to pay such amount of money for 300 channels, which 200

        hundred of them are selling product; the very few movies are old and…. we have to watch commercials! nonsense…


        Your child even can watch how a human being is beheaded in Middle East! is it not horrific????

        hatred brings more hatred

        war creates more war

        laugh bring more laugh, it is contagious

        friendship is contagious

        sex violence? (you fill out the form……)

        fight and more fight.? (……………..fill out the form)

        Thank for your attention.

        God have mercy.

    3. Lori Schmidt
      October 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

      On prime TV, I usually only tune into the talent shows, then happen to see a commercial or the beginning of another show and I’m so disgusted by the explicitness of violence and sexuality. When I was in college in the 1970s, I was concerned about violence towards women and the ways this was portrayed in the media. Here it its, forty years later, our country has progressed in many ways, yet we fail to uphold standards of respect and safety for ourselves. It is so frustrating, I wish I could do more.

    4. Sam Buchanan
      October 1, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      I have all but quit watching prime time T.V. Sad actually, I once enjoyed watching T.V. in the evening hours. Most all show that I have tuned in for are to graphic and explicit for adults, much less un-attended children who may be tuning in. Our society is surely degrading around us. Advertisers should be paying attention to what they are promoting, although some of the ads are as immoral as the T.V. shows too.

    5. carol gianferrara
      October 1, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Why as a society are we allowing these shows to happen? The horrible thought is that we are becoming an evil society. We need more prayer and la lot less evil on TV. TV should be entertaining like it use to be, you want evil, watch the news. We watch none of these shows in my home and I have a 17 yr old son who agrees with me. There needs to be a huge campaign against the advertisers without them no $$$ and NO SHOWS!!!!

      • SandraJ
        October 3, 2014 at 8:15 am

        You’re right, Carol. There is nothing on to watch anymore unless you have an evil, warped mind like the writers of these awful shows. How long do you think advertisers will hang on when they find out no one is watching?

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