• Mr. Robot Exchanges Great Storytelling for Cheap, Graphic Sex Scene – And Why You Should Care

    by  • July 15, 2015 • Cable Choice, Misrated • 14 Comments


    In late June, the USA network premiered Mr. Robot, a dark drama about a young, anti-social cyber security engineer named Elliot Alderson as he struggles with the decision to either join the cold, massive E Corp that was responsible for his father’s death, or Mr. Robot, the terrorist/hacker organization working to take it down.

    It’s an intriguing premise, and there is a lot of room for exploring complex moral issues. But of course, all of that was pushed aside in favor of gratuitous sex.  Just three episodes in, Mr. Robot featured a graphic sexual encounter between E Corp employee Tyrell, who wants to become the company’s new Chief Technology Officer, and his boss’s assistant, who he seduced just so that he could access confidential information.

    It would have been more than sufficient for the writers to imply a sexual encounter, or to use some other means to show that there is nothing Tyrell won’t do in his quest for power. Instead this TV-14-rated program featured an extended scene of the characters engaging in anal intercourse. The camera angle is from the adjacent hallway, and so a small portion of their bodies (enough to hide the genital area) is hidden behind the door frame, but everything else is fully visible to the audience at home — the movements, the sounds, nothing is left to the imagination. Again, this was on a program that was rated not for mature audiences only, but as appropriate for a 14-year-old child.

    If content like this is deemed by the networks that rate the shows, as suitable for a 14-year-old, then it’s time we take a hard look at how those ratings are applied. Oh, and by the way, if you are a cable subscriber, your cable dollars helped pay for it, too.




    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    14 Responses to Mr. Robot Exchanges Great Storytelling for Cheap, Graphic Sex Scene – And Why You Should Care

    1. Tyre.l
      January 23, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Just curious are y’all okay with extreme violence like the walking dead or 24? Is it just sex that scares you? Genuinely curious.

      • PTC
        January 25, 2016 at 10:51 am

        Note that The Walking Dead rating was raised from TV-14 to TV-MA soon after intense pressure from the PTC and parents across the country. If you look through our actions,blog posts and website, you will see we have a consistent record trying to help parents protect their kids from viewing graphic violence on TV, as well as the extreme sexual content and profanity.

        If you are specifically interested in media violence, I would recommend taking a look at our Media Violence campaign at: http://w2.parentstv.org/Main/campaigns/mviolence.aspx.

        And please feel free to join our email list (http://www.parentstv.org/joinus) and support our cause (http://www.parentstv.org/donate) so you can help make TV viewing safer for our children.

    2. TJ Long
      August 14, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Gross. Time to cut cable altogether. USA used to be a family network. Now they have sold out, just like TBS, AMC, FX, and others. They are all falling like dominoes.

    3. vb
      August 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      I agree with this article. I was shocked it was so graphic on the USA channel. Had it set to record but deleted after this episode. The episode with Elliot and the woman was not appropriate either, showed too much nudity. I’m really upset about the rating, it should be R or more. This is disappointing because it’s a really intriguing show but not worth it. I’m not watching it!

    4. B
      July 29, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      I was thrilled to finally see a well written show filled with complex characters and a modern premise. The first episode was pure genius and the acting perfection. And then episode 3 aired. I had to recheck the rating after viewing the episode and couldn’t believe my eyes. TV 14????!!!!!! The two sex scenes were distastefully done and did nothing to enhance character or plot development. It was if someone decided that gratuitous cable sex scenes are required viewing. It should have been TV MA. Obviously, the majority of TV writers, producers, etc are too lazy to find creative ways to explore characters without explicit sex.

      • vb
        August 6, 2015 at 1:51 pm


    5. Craig
      July 25, 2015 at 9:11 am

      I do not approve at all.

    6. Charlie
      July 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      I will not support graphic sex on TV. I will not watch this show.

    7. Glenda
      July 24, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      How disgusting! Shows that exploit sex and children are not good family friendly ones. .

    8. John S
      July 24, 2015 at 10:57 am

      To quote Benjamin Nolot Founder and President of Exodus Cry an international anti-trafficking organization.

      “Studies have shown that there is a powerful and measurable phenomenon called the “media effect” w

      I would like to remind you all of another time where a different type of immoral behavior stripped our fellow man including children of their human dignity.

      That was Apartheid. American companies and our government agencies continued to support South Africa year after year saying there is nothing we can do. “Our business arrangement has nothing to do with Apartheid”. It wasn’t until the grass roots stood up and said enough is enough, shined the spot light on those corporations and government agencies and declared economic warfare. That is what ended Apartheid.

      Calling networks is useless. The rating agency is owned by them, in other words there is no rating agency. The FCC is useless and run by an industry insider. The way you fight them is by calling sponsors and advertisers. Most companies hire marketing agencies to place their ads. When CEOs find out their companies are funding porn for kids, 80% of the time they pull the ads. I got a call from the president of Behr paint this week. He told me he had no idea his company was funding porn for kids and promised me he would contact his marketing department and pull the ads. I am just one guy and I know I have cost these sick bustards millions. Please do the same. The CEOs numbers can usually be found by googling the company name next to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Good Luck.
      hich occurs when media influences our cultural norms and preferences.”

      There is no doubt that our kids are under assault. This article will shock you.

    9. Prodigy48
      July 24, 2015 at 9:08 am

      This is breathtakingly disgusting. Speaking out against filth certainly doesn’t mean anyone “cares about it”. Why are producers so obsessed with sex and with forcing it on children?

    10. Dragonking22
      July 20, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      I Don’t understand why you care about this show soo much.

    11. Ben
      July 20, 2015 at 7:48 am

      I agree. I really liked the show up until this episode. It was very shocking and not necessary at all. I would have been furious if my 15 year old had seen this. I won’t be tuning in for any more episodes.

    12. Matt
      July 15, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      I’m guessing you didn’t keep watching- after fast forwarding through that scene, his wife is waiting for him in what was gearing up to be another graphic scene (wife tied up gagged). I turned it off there. It’s a shame I was enjoying it. Ah well- it’s all just Fight Club anyway.

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