A gory serial killer drama receives the same content rating as an innocuous ’80s action show.
The TV Content Ratings system is broken. Parents should be able to rely on the TV ratings to inform them about program content, and to help them make decisions about safe viewing for their children. But the system today is inconsistent to the point of uselessness, as one example shows.
Airwolf was a typical 1980s action series. The adventures of the crew of a high-tech helicopter, the program scarcely contained any “violence” worthy of the name. Aerial dogfights, explosions, and the occasional fistfight was as violent as the program ever got. There was never any blood, torture, or graphic gore shown; yet, in reruns today, Airwolf carries the rating TV-14 V.
By contrast, Fox’s 2013 series The Following was an ultra-graphic serial killer drama which was typified by scenes of a nude woman gouging out her own eyeball with an ice pick; massacred victims’ bodies strewn about, walls covered in blood and severed hands resting on tables; and a woman posing as a prostitute, luring a married couple into a threesome, then stabbing both with a butcher’s knife while having sex with them. What rating did this content receive? TV-14 V – the same as Airwolf.
When an innocuous, 30 year-old action series receives the same rating as a horrific, sex-and-gore-soaked program glorifying a cult of serial killers, it is clear the current content ratings system does not work.
If you have not yet done so, we urge you to sign our petition urging Congress to hold hearings on Ratings Reform.
To sign the petition, click here.