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.