• Misrated TV Show: Scream Queens on Fox

    by  • October 29, 2015 • Broadcast Decency, Misrated, Sex, Violence • 1 Comment


    For graphic sexual dialogue and depictions of violence on a program rated TV-14 DLSV, the October 20th episode of Fox’s Scream Queens is this week’s Misrated TV show.

    No program on television today better demonstrates the inaccuracy and even deliberate deceptiveness of the TV content ratings system than Fox’s Scream Queens. Containing graphic gore more appropriate to an R-rated horror movie, and sexual dialogue more at home on a cheesy Cinemax soft-core porno film, the Fox broadcast network nevertheless assigns Scream Queens a rating appropriate for 14 year old children.

    And make no mistake: 14 year olds ARE still children, still deserving of the protection given to those who are younger.  Yet, Scream Queens offers them content like the following:


    • Hester: “Chad, after our erotic bonding session in the cemetery and our coitus interruptus in the haunted house, I got the impression that you and I are on the verge of being the next ‘it’ couple…Even though I decide to not wear a bra, you haven’t been staring at my shirt raisins once.

    Chad: “I just don’t think it would work out with us. You’re nuts, and not like a typical crazy-eyes co-ed, but ‘wake up with my penis in a jar’ lunatic. Now, that puts me in a tough spot because that also means you’d be the screw of my life. I mean, that kind of insanity is Space Mountain levels of fun. I love Space Mountain. Best ride at Disneyland. But I love my penis more.”


    • Chad: “I am super turned on from her, and I need some sweet release. Is there any, like, Crisco or cooking oil here? Just, like, dry handies bum me out.”


    • Chanel: “If I can impart anything on you slits over the course of this year is that Kappas don’t take crap from anyone.”


    • The Red Devil pulls Caufield off the ladder. He chops at Caulfield’s torso with an axe, eventually severing his head.


    Scream Queens airs at 9:00 p.m. ET – only 8 p.m. Central/Mountain.

    Of course, there will be those who snarl, “If you don’t like it, do your job and be a parent, and don’t let your kids watch it!” Such a statement totally misses the point: parents can’t see everything that’s on TV or in the media. They rely upon the TV content ratings system to provide them with the information they need. If the ratings are wrong – as they invariably are, since a program’s content rating is assigned by the same network that makes it, and networks are financially motivated to mis-rate their programs to attract more (young) viewers – parents are misinformed, and hence cannot make good decisions. The V-chip is worthless for the same reason; it depends on the content ratings to screen out programs.

    It’s easy to sneer, “Parents should do their job!” But the networks should also do theirs: providing entertainment the entire family can watch or, failing that, at least rate their programs accurately.



    Mars candy (M&Ms) sponsored this program. To let them know the network mis-rated the program they sponsored, 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.

    One Response to Misrated TV Show: Scream Queens on Fox

    1. Elsie Elliott
      October 31, 2015 at 8:18 am

      I am disappointed to see writers and producers sink to such a low ebb in creating a television show that isn’t even appropriate for adults–much less for impressionable teens. Why seek to lower the character building of the young by planting immoral thoughts in their minds? Please consider this—Would you write such trash for your own children if they were watching that show? Not if you are a responsible parent!

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