Last week, I went to Washington DC to advocate for Ratings Reform. And our success was nothing less than spectacular!
Without a doubt, this has been the PTC’s most successful week of public policy efforts, ever. For the past several weeks, we have talked about the urgent need for comprehensive reform to the TV Content Ratings System.
The PTC recently released a research report that showed how parents are being deceived – and how children are being harmed – by a corrupt system that was created by Hollywood to protect Hollywood.
With that research report in hand, I flew to our Nation’s Capital to fight for children, to fight for parents and to fight for families. What just took place in Washington blew me away. I was inspired by the overwhelmingly supportive response I received:
- I met with Senators, Members of Congress, and Committee staffers – both Republicans and Democrats. I was received with courtesy and enthusiasm, thus demonstrating the bicameral and bipartisan support for Ratings Reform in Congress.
- I met with current and former FCC Commissioners and their staffers – both Republicans and Democrats – all of whom agreed that greater FCC scrutiny, and increased public accountability, was needed.
- I presented to a congressional caucus at a packed committee hearing room inside the Capitol building. Those in attendance were shocked by the examples of explicit television content that the TV networks said was appropriate for children.
- I met with leaders of over a dozen national organizations – both conservative and liberal, and both faith-based and secular. They pledged to lend their support as allies in the PTC’s efforts.
- I spoke with scientific researchers – experts in the field of media and its impact on children.
And I was thrilled to learn that nearly two dozen scholars would be submitting a letter to the FCC, calling for an overhaul of the TV Content Ratings System.
- I was interviewed by journalists from some of the most well-known news outlets in the nation. And I taped a 30-minute segment for a cable television news program, where I was the only guest – and with PTC’s work being the sole topic – for the entire program!At each and every one of these DC meetings, I explained how the TV Content Ratings System works:
- TV networks produce and air programs that contain graphic sex, violence and profanity; yet they routinely assign an age rating that tells parents that the program is appropriate for children.
- Most TV sponsors won’t advertise on programs rated TV-MA (for mature audiences only), so the networks face a financial conflict of interest. They have never rated a broadcast series TV-MA because they wouldn’t be able to sell advertising time.
- The Oversight Monitoring Board is chaired by a TV industry lobbyist, and 19 of its 24 members are TV industry executives – many of whom are the very same people who rate explicit content as appropriate for children.
- The Monitoring Board positions designated for the five parental advocates are left unfilled or, even worse, are filled by industry lobbyists who represent themselves as parental advocates.
- The Monitoring Board’s meetings – if they ever even meet – are closed to the public, closed to the press and closed to FCC representatives.
At each and every one of my DC meetings, the response was the same: shock, surprise and even disbelief that such a system not only exists, but is in fact sanctioned by the FCC.
All that inspiration was somewhat tempered by the forces that are gathering inside the Beltway to stop us. In perhaps the most revealing moment of my visit, I learned that high-powered million-dollar entertainment industry lobbyists had already been making the rounds on Capitol Hill to thwart our efforts.
It is vital that we win. Winning means that the current system will be replaced with one that is accurate, consistent, transparent, and accountable to those whom it is intended to serve: PARENTS!
But to win, we urgently need your help.
With YOUR help and support, we can bring accountability back to Hollywood…and accuracy to the TV Content Ratings System. Please act today!