• Worst Cable TV Show of the Week: Sons of Anarchy

    by  • November 19, 2014 • Profanity, Sex, Violence, Worst Cable Show of the Week • 9 Comments

    Subscribers of basic cable are being bombarded with explicit, even pornographic, content – and are forced to pay for it. A prime example is the Tuesday, November 11th episode of FX’s Sons of Anarchy (10:00 p.m. ET), the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.

    The episode opened with an unbelievably graphic sex scene a full two and a half minutes long, depicting various gay and straight couples copulating in explicit detail. The only things missing were exposed breasts and genitals; but even so, the scene was nothing less than pornographic.

    Media Post critic Adam Buckman described the scene as “a jaw-dropping sex montage” containing “the rawest sex I have ever seen depicted on TV outside of HBO and Showtime — and that’s saying a lot.” “Is there anything they can’t show on TV these days?” Buckman asked. When even an advocate for the entertainment industry like the Media Post questions the content of a television program, it’s a safe bet the show has gone too far.

    It’s also worth noting that the sex scene aired at only 9:00 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that some channel-surfing children stumbled upon this – particularly as, immediately before Sons of Anarchy, FX was showing the movie The Amazing Spider-Man.  (Of course, those in the entertainment industry prefer to shriek, “Parents, do your jobs!” rather than taking even the slightest responsibility for what they’re choosing to push into every home in America.)

    But the unbelievably graphic sex was just the beginning. This being Sons of Anarchy, naturally no episode could be complete without ultra-graphic, blood-soaked violence as well. In addition to the by-now-routine shooting of various bikers and gang members in the head and chest; explosion killing multiple others; and machine-gunning of a dozen more, with blood spraying everywhere, the episode descended into outright sadism. The show’s “hero,” Jax Teller, rips out a man’s eyeball with his bare hands. The eyeball is seen dangling from the socket, blood gushing freely, as various other gang members kick and beat the victim. Another member then cuts off the victim’s fingers with a knife, as the victim screams in pain. A close-up shows the severed fingers in a pool of blood. Jax then shoots the man point-blank in the head, killing him.

    PTC President Tim Winter addressed the content – and the fact that consumers were forced to pay for it – as follows:

    “It’s official: In order to watch cable news, ESPN, Disney or the History Channel, every family in America must now also pay for pornography on FX. For years FX has been pursuing a path to be as explicit as HBO, yet still be included in the forced-bundle of advertiser-supported networks that every cable or satellite subscriber must purchase through their monthly bill. If FX wants to be like HBO and air this kind of explicit content, then they should become a premium network. But they won’t, because the cartel-like leverage they currently enjoy is too lucrative. And if history is our guide, we should expect a host of other basic cable networks to air similar – or even more explicit – content in the name of ‘staying competitive.’”

    Clearly, Cable Choice is a solution whose time has come. HBO and CBS have already recognized this fact. How long will every family in America be held hostage by the greedy, corrupt entertainment cartel?

    For forcing every American family to underwrite pornography and graphic violence, FX’s Sons of Anarchy is the Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.




    Christopher Gildemeister is the PTC’s Head of Research Operations. He began as an Entertainment Analyst at the PTC in 2005. From 2007-2016, he was Senior Writer/Editor, responsible for communicating the PTC’s message to the public through newsletters, columns, and the PTC Watchdog blog. Dr. Gildemeister holds a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America.

    9 Responses to Worst Cable TV Show of the Week: Sons of Anarchy

    1. Lisa Means
      November 19, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Dear PTC,
      Sons of anarchy is not a show for the faint of heart or for children. It is on late enough for children to be in bed. Who are you to decide what I want to watch. Obviously millions of viewers agree with me or it wouldn’t be one of the highest viewed shows. I for one am very happy to watch Jax, Happy, or Chibbs beautiful naked bodies. Your opinion is not my opinion so please as a parent do not try to speak for me and what me or my children watch. F.U. from one of the croweaters and loyal fan

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        November 20, 2014 at 9:37 am


        How, exactly, is my saying, “I don’t watch FX, and therefore shouldn’t have to pay for it” the same thing as “deciding what you want to watch”?

        As for “millions of viewers”…this season, “Sons of Anarchy” typically draws a viewership of around 6 million. But there are well over 100 million cable and satellite subscribers in America. That means that the vast, overwhelming majority of them — 95 million or more — DON’T watch “Sons.” Why should all those people be forced to support something they never watch and don’t want? Isn’t that YOU “deciding what they want to watch” and imposing YOUR values on others?

        Finally, thanks for the “F.U.” Along with the fan who phoned the PTC and used the f-word about three dozen times, you stand as proof positive that what people see on TV does influence their behavior.

        • Julie
          November 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

          Christopher – I agree with you completely. People are really missing the point. I don’t watch nor have I ever watched Sons of Anarchy, but yet they are profiting from me paying my cable bill. Who is anyone to say that “children should be in bed”? Not every child goes to bed that early. What are they supposed to do? Come home from school and hop right into bed so their parents can watch all the smut they want? Anyway, we could easily say the same things about these people replying to PTC’s articles…if you don’t like the PTC, don’t write on their blog!

          • Kyle
            November 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

            “If you don’t like the PTC, don’t write on their blog.”

            However, it’s the PTC that brought on this “outrage”, not the American TV public. Sorry, but the PTC doesn’t have much of a case here. Thy also haven’t much understanding as to how cable TV works. Your cable bill doesn’t just pay for FX,it also pays for adult fare like Adult Swim on Cartoon Network, TNT,AMC, Spike, Comedy Central. The list goes on but all those channels come with basic cable. I haven’t seen the PTC attempt to boycott “The Walking Dead” or “South Park” as yet but since the PTC are nothing more than a bunch of bored uptight ultra-conservative jesus freaks, I’m sure they’ll get around to it. The PTC’s delusion that families actually watch tv together is even more ridiculous, proving again just how out of step with they are with the real world. The average American family has, at least, TWO TVs in the home. Parents and kids are in separate parts of the home, watching completely different programs.

            The false outrage is glaring. In their attempt to stay relevant in a progressive culture, the PTC is now grasping at low-hanging fruit. You mind telling me what kid under the age of, say, 15 is going to even give a *** about “SOA”? More than that, the scene shown on SOA is relatively tame compared to what teens see nowadays. What’s more surprising is the members of the PTC were even up that late to catch the “offending” episode to begin with. I always figured they went to bed right after “Wheel of Fortune”.

            The saddest thing is the PTC is harping on this one explicit scene and not the overall quality of the show. “SOA” is an excellent show with strong writing, engaging characters, and gripping storylines. Of course, the PTC doesn’t want to acknowledge that as they’re too busy witch-hunting. Ionically, this recent PTC complaint is only helping with free promotion for FX and the show. For that, I suppose I’ll speak for the rest of the fans and say “thanks”.

            • Christopher Gildemeister
              November 24, 2014 at 9:43 am


              In fact, it is FX and “Sons of Anarchy” which have “brought on this outrage,” since without their ultra-graphic pornography, language, and violence, there’d be nothing for the PTC to comment about. It is humorous that Kurt Sutter and the other writers on “Sons” deliberately go out of their way to be outrageous and “push the envelope” by showing more graphic content than has ever been seen before — and then act all outraged and shriek about “censorship” when people give them precisely the reaction they have deliberately provoked. If “Sons” wasn’t being deliberately provocative, there’d be no issue and no one would complain.

              As for the claim about the show’s alleged strengths: for the better part of 80 years, Hollywood managed to come up with “strong writing, engaging characters, and gripping storylines” without showing porn, eyes being gouged out, and characters using the f-word twelve times a minute. A writer who has to resort to shock tactics in order to get attention is lacking in imagination (not to mention talent). Although, Sutter et al ARE pretty talented at brainwashing viewers into thinking that what they’re seeing is some kind of quality. The fact that anyone can call a gang of murderous, abusive, drug-dealing rapists “engaging” demonstrates how desensitized the American TV-viewing public has become.

              As for cable: we understand perfectly well. It is our contention that nobody should have to pay for anything they don’t watch. Yes, we understand that everyone pays for Comedy Central, FX, AMC, et al. But they shouldn’t have to. People should only have to pay for what they actually watch.

              Surveys have repeatedly shown that the vast majority of American families would LIKE to watch TV together, but the networks refuse to provide anything that’s suitable. Programming like “Sons” may be beloved by Hollywood insiders, a tiny clique of so-called “critics,” and a slightly larger group of rabid, porn-and-gore-loving fans; but that hardly makes it mainstream. “Sons” typically draws an audience of 6 million viewers; the total number of pay-TV subscribers is around 115 million. This means that well over 100 MILLION people DON’T watch “Sons of Anarchy.” Just because you watch it doesn’t mean everybody does. In fact, most people don’t.

              I’ve ignored your insulting caricatures of the PTC and it’s membership, since it’s clear you know as little about us as you do about quality entertainment.

      • Jonathan
        November 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm

        Lisa I completely agree with what you said. It’s nice to see that there are people who are willing to stand up to the PTC. Don’t let the writer try and say shows Influenced you to use the F word, the word has been around a lot longer than the show.

        The PTC says they want to “protect” kids but yet they never target shows on Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon. A lot of those shows are completly disgusting and are not kid friendly but because it has a TV-Y rating and is on a kid channel they decide not to write about those shows like SpongeBob. However they attack adults shows, shows that 90% of kids who would get bored with the first minuete if they watched it.

        You probably won’t read anything I wrote because the PTC likes to delete my comments because it goes against their opinion.

        • Christopher Gildemeister
          November 20, 2014 at 3:54 pm


          We believe children require more protection from non-stop f-words, heads being blown off, and two-and-a-half-minute-long pornographic sex scenes, than they do from cartoons on Nickelodeon.

          If we’ve deleted your posts, it’s likely because you don’t want to engage in a legitimate conversation, but just come here to spew insults. You know, the same way you wouldn’t mind having a discussion with someone in your own living room, but if they started insulting you and using the f-word, you’d ask them to leave.

    2. Mike
      November 19, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      No one was forcing American families to watch this lol. Sons of Anarchy has never been a family show and has never tried to be anything different than a adult show. Quit trying to censor adult shows. This is way people in Europe look at us Amercians is a weird way because of people who are overly sensitive to nudity and sex. Sex and nudity are human nature. Do you really think by crying in this blog that it’s going to change anything? The creator of this show like many other people hate this group and they have good reason to.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        November 20, 2014 at 9:45 am


        But FX WAS forcing American families to PAY for “Sons,” even if they never watch it.

        We’re not trying to “censor adult shows.” We are trying to assert people’s right not to pay for something they never use.

        Do you really think by crying in this comment that it’s going to change anything?

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