• FX Boss Demands “Absolutely No Creative Censorship”

    by  • August 10, 2015 • Cable Choice, Profanity, Sex, Violence • 3 Comments

    The CEO of the FX basic cable and satellite network wants there to be absolutely no restraint on the number of f-words, amount of explicit sex, or intensity of violence and gore on his channel – and he wants you to pay for all of it.  


    Since 2005, the FX network has been infamous as home to the most extreme content on basic cable. Series like Nip/Tuck, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Archer, American Horror Story, and Sons of Anarchy have delighted in shoving depravity into every living room in America. On programs that wallowed in foul language, explicit and twisted sexual content, and unbelievably horrific levels of violence, the network has gloried in turning rapists, corrupt cops, amoral surgeons, and drug-pushing, gun-running, murderous gang members into heroes.

    And they’ve done it all on your dime. As a basic cable network, every cable and satellite subscriber in America is forced to pay for the FX’s blood-soaked, profane pornography.

    But that isn’t enough for the network’s CEO, John Landgraf. This week, the FX boss declared that the programs on his network shouldn’t exercise any restraint at all!  

    In an interview during the Television Critics Association tour, Landgraf whined about the respect accorded faith and morality in America’s cultural heritage. Sneering that our nation was “founded by Puritans,” Landgraf lamented that “we are more sensitve to sexual content than violence.”

    Not that you could tell by watching FX. There, the boss proudly proclaims, “restraint” is a dirty word. In fact, earlier this week, Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter discussed his upcoming FX series The Bastard Executioner, a thinly-veiled rip-off of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Smirking that “There’s nothing wrong with colorful brutality,” Sutter gleefully exclaimed that his new show is in “a medieval setting, and the laws, in terms of punishment, were brutal and heinous…Anything that happens, battle sequences or torture… always has some ramification — be it emotional on a character or somehow impacts the narrative.” Sutter claims the show’s violence won’t be “openly gratuitous” and will be more than “just a head in a basket every week.” But anyone familiar with Sons of Anarchy, with its scenes of graphic rape, people being burned alive, and dozens of individuals being machine-gunned and blown up, will know to take Sutter’s claim with a couple hundred pounds of salt.

    But the broader point remains. FX’s CEO demands that his network’s programming be placed under absolutely no restrictions whatsoever…yet he still wants everyone in America to pay for it. This is contrary to concepts of both democratic liberty and the free market. The latter says that people shouldn’t be forced to pay for something they don’t want, and from which they derive no benefit; the former, that people should have a say in what their money is taken to subsidize. By requiring Americans to fund his bloody fantasies just so they can get ESPN or The Disney Channel, and denying them any alternative, John Landgraf and the entire entertainment industry are demonstrating their contempt for their own customers. It’s high time the customers fought back.


    To learn more about PTC’s Cable Choice initiative, click here.





    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.

    3 Responses to FX Boss Demands “Absolutely No Creative Censorship”

    1. Russel
      September 19, 2017 at 8:42 pm

      We pay for all kinds of channels we don’t want. Until recently, with Sling and other services allowing only the channels you want, cable and satellite cosmos have ALWAYS packages channels together where, for every one you actually watch, there are 100 more you never will.
      And (FINALLY) until now, aside from a few subject to FCC, the cable networks have censored themselves… And with regard for only one thing: children! I don’t have kids. I don’t want kids. I shouldn’t have to access adult content, such as that in many FX shows and other channels not catering to parents who think the world should revolve around what is appropriate for kids!! You are the one who should control what your child, or family, or self, watches it is capable of watching via the parental filters and settings built into every modern cable or satellite box. As an adult, I am fully capable of changing the channel if I find the content offensive… And while the reason for criticizing the content on the shoes and channels isn’t directly mentioned in the article, given the website, it is undoubtedly related to what is suitable for children.
      Will there is a warning That the beginning of AHS: Cult (which I’m watching now) that says NO… IT IS NOT! That is adequate on part of FX as far as I’m concerned. The rest is up to you and every other parent. Don’t expect the whole of society to be subjected to the same restrictions as a child– especially when we already are as nothing is more infuriating than watching a movie on cable where they dub some really dumb phrase over the actual profanity!
      Again, to put it very simply: You had children. I didn’t. Censoring what they see on TV should not involve censoring what I see… Filter the content yourself!

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        May 22, 2018 at 9:13 am


        “Filtering” does not equal “not paying for.” Why should anyone be forced to pay for something they don’t want?

    2. brandon
      August 14, 2015 at 2:22 am

      Those shows have millions of fans each. I bet each one of them were glad to pay for them and would be glad to pay for more. I too enjoy those shows and hope for more like them. Since alot of people now tend to stream their entertainment, television ratings have become inaccurate to the true size of a shows fan base. PTC tends to use television ratings to prove points about violent television but since streaming shows has become a popular alternative, just using TV ratings is not really an accurate way to getting a shows true fan base size.

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