• Scream Queens Belongs on Premium Cable

    by  • September 16, 2015 • Broadcast Decency, Paley2015, Paleyfest, Violence • 5 Comments


    Parents are warned: this mean-spirited, sexualized, gory horror show is unsafe for children of any age.

    The Kappa Kappa Tau sorority is ruled with an iron fist by the nasty Chanel Oberlin, who delights in degrading everyone around her. The school’s Dean, Cathy Munsch, forces Kappa to accept all applicants, among them the sweet but steely freshman Grace Gardner, who vows to remake Kappa into a place of kindness and empowerment for all girls. But Grace didn’t reckon on Chanel killing Kappa’s housekeeper – or on someone in a Devil costume murdering several other Kappas. Will Chanel succeed in covering up her complicity in the housekeeper’s death? Will Grace succeed in reforming Kappa? Or will the mysterious “Devil” kill them all?

    With Scream Queens, the show’s creator, Ryan Murphy, has brought the extreme content and sickening sensibility of his FX dramas Nip/Tuck and American Horror Story to the publicly-owned airwaves during the Family Hour of 8:00 p.m. Eastern – only 7:00 p.m. Central/Mountain. Scream Queens’ content is so constant, so graphic, and so horrific that is is nearly impossible to know where to begin describing it…but a basic breakdown is as follows:

    The first scene of the first episode shows a girl in a ball gown entering a formal dance, her hands covered in blood. She reveals that a sister Kappa has just given birth in a bathtub upstairs. The reigning Kappa queen and others go upstairs, and berate the blood-soaked mother and her newborn for having the gall to interrupt the dance. The girl later dies. The episode also includes Chanel dunking her housekeeper’s face in boiling hot cooking fat, and the maid then tearing the scalded-crisp skin off her face in gory chunks, revealing the blood-soaked flesh beneath; Chanel’s predecessor Kappa queen being sprayed with hydrochloric acid, with close-ups showing her bloody skin burning and melting off; and several Kappa pledges being sadistically buried up to their necks, with the “Devil” then driving over their heads on a riding mower. Contrasted with this, the “Devil’s” knife-slashing murder of another Kappa is mild in comparison.

    Chanel greets her sorority sisters (whom she sneeringly refers to as her “minions”) with, “Good morning, sluts” and makes reference to the new pledges’ genitalia, saying “Each of these gashes is worse than the next.” She asks Dean Munsch, “Do you think you like to munch box because your last name is ‘Munsch,?”, and thereafter repeatedly calls the dean “box munch” to her face. When the dean asks about reports of bestiality at a Kappa party, Chanel smirks, “No one forced that goat to drink as much as he did. That’s on him.” She also calls a boy she dislikes “Mr. Convicted Sex Offender.’ Chanel’s boyfriend is an apparent necrophiliac, stating that “I got my first boner watching Faces of Death” and, finding the maid’s body has vanished from its hiding place in a freezer whines, “I’m cold, and I’ve got blue balls. Worst date ever.”

    The entire tone of Scream Queens is mean-spirited beyond belief, particularly Chanel’s dialogue. She calls the Kappa maid “White Mammy;” goes on a graphic, racist rant about “fatties and ethnics,” and the effect that a diet of “ethnic” spices will have on the “fatties’” digestion, and hence on the Kappa house’s plumbing;  and gives the new pledges degrading nicknames like “Deaf Taylor Swift” and “Predatory Lez.” The deaf girl in particular comes in for extensive mockery, not only by Chanel, but by the program itself; in the lawn mower scene, the deaf girl repeatedly asks the other girls whether they are screaming or singing; thereafter, the handicapped girl is shown moronically singing Taylor Swift songs as the others are murdered before her eyes. In addition, Chad refers to Chanel and others as “garbage people,” and Dean Munsch is shown smoking pot and having sex with a student, threatening him with destruction of his academic career if he exposes the fact.

    No doubt TV critics, and the entertainment industry itself, will hail Scream Queens as hilariously campy, and praise the show for its “courage” in bringing premium cable content to the broadcast Family Hour; but parents are warned to keep their children and teens as far away from this program as possible.

    Scream Queens premiered Tuesday, September 22, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern (7:00 p.m. Central/Mountain) on Fox. 



    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.

    5 Responses to Scream Queens Belongs on Premium Cable

    1. Eileen Karl
      January 17, 2017 at 9:09 am

      The horror that you read about in the newspapers each night is copycatted from horror shows like Scream Queens.
      You dont think it is a horror show? That is the problem.

    2. RightStuff44
      October 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      When you consider all the wonderful literature for children that is free for the research and having, it is indeed sad that our society is so suffocated with the garbage that is available with just a turn of the dial. I think of guys like John Stuart Mill, who spoke Greek by the time he was three, and Latin by the time he was eight, and read all the real classics before reaching the age of ten, I am indeed saddened by what we are infecting our young ones with through our inattention to the evil that lurks behind every television or video screen.

    3. tom
      October 20, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Anne Dardis, it’s actually spelled “censoring”. this show is completely acceptable for children. I do not know why the PTC is making such a huge deal out of such a small thing. Honestly, there are shows that have been WAY worse, like the following and hannibal. Yet no fuss about those! Idiots.

      • Christopher Gildemeister
        October 29, 2015 at 2:58 pm

        “No fuss about those?”

    4. Anne Dardis
      September 18, 2015 at 8:05 am

      This is absolutely disgusting!!! How much longer will the FCC allow TV production companies to go on “sensoring” themselves? It just does not work!!! They obviously do not know how!!

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