Earlier this week, PTC President Tim Winter met with former Senator Chris Dodd, president of the Motion Picture Association of America and chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, which oversees the failing TV Content Ratings System.
New PTC research analyzing the past 20 years of the TV Content Ratings System found widespread, systemic problems that render the system inadequate for protecting children from graphic sex, violence, and profanity on television.
As a follow-up to the meeting, Sen. Dodd asked for recommendations on how to reform the system. Here is an excerpt from the letter Mr. Winter sent to him:
“Thank you for listening so intently to my concerns about the ratings system and its ostensible ‘oversight’; and thank you for agreeing that constant improvement to the system was important. You asked me for my recommendations. The most important recommendation I could possibly make is for you to join me in calling for an open, public hearing to evaluate – through the lens of twenty years of its operation – the positive and negative aspects of the current system; and to provide a forum to evaluate ways to improve it.
“… [T]he best way to improve the system, and the right way to improve the system, is to include experts from across the nation who could publicly and openly bring their unique insights. The system has been cloaked in secrecy for its entire existence. It is time to open it up for a healthy and robust evaluation.
“I also hope you had a chance to read my letter asking that the MPAA and other industry leaders reconsider their cozy relationship with a college professor named Christopher Ferguson. As my letter clearly suggests, Mr. Ferguson’s questionable conduct, indisputable bias and inherent financial conflict of interest (himself being a producer of graphically violent content) should disqualify him as a source of objective scientific opinion. I hope you will instead rely on other academicians who are not media violence crusaders.”
The PTC has asked Sen. Dodd for an answer by June 17.