• PTC Agrees With Disney’s CEO That Gun Violence Needs to be Addressed – But Also by the Entertainment Industry

    by  • October 4, 2017 • Violence • 3 Comments

    Media violence

    The Parents Television Council is calling on Hollywood to take gun violence seriously by evaluating and lowering its use on TV shows and in films.

    “We agree with Disney’s Bob Iger that gun violence should be taken seriously, and in that vein, we are calling on the entire entertainment industry to evaluate its own incessant, and ever-more-realistic daily rehearsals of gun violence – and graphic violence in general – on its TV shows and in its movies. Hollywood needs to take seriously its own role in contributing to normalizing violence. Mr. Iger and other industry leaders cannot claim their content does not have real-life impact when their very economic existence is based on advertising — the sole purpose of which is to change the behavior of each viewer,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

    “Gun violence has been Hollywood’s favorite kind of violence for years. Research conducted by the PTC in 2013 found that during a one-month study period of primetime broadcast TV shows, nearly half (193 of the 392 shows examined) contained violence; and almost a third (121) contained violence and guns. These results even came immediately after the White House summit with entertainment executives following Newtown and during which those executives touted parental controls as the only way to control TV violence. The entertainment industry effectively scrubbed their hands of any responsibility.

    “A 2013 study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center found that gun violence tripled in PG-13-rated films.

    “Even in our latest research of only fantasy-based broadcast TV shows, which kids are more likely to be attracted to, there were over 1,000 incidents of violence and 300 deaths.

    “We urge the entertainment industry to evaluate and ideally lower portrayals of violence and specifically, gun violence.”

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    3 Responses to PTC Agrees With Disney’s CEO That Gun Violence Needs to be Addressed – But Also by the Entertainment Industry

    1. CAT
      October 5, 2017 at 8:41 pm

      You make a good suggestion. However, it is a suggestion that Hollywood will never follow. In your eyes, you are asking Hollywood to make higher quality products. But when Hollywood looks at this article, they will interpret it as you asking them to dig their own graves and to smile while doing so. Hollywood and Madison Avenue will always see your organization and all its members as armchair quarterbacks who have no idea what their lives are like, yet feel qualified to tell them how to do their jobs.

      What you should be doing is reaching out to more parents. You say you have 100,000 members. Last time I checked, the population of the United States was 300 million. I think you should set a goal of increasing the number of members you have to at least 3 million. To do this, you need to advertise. Mail out pamphlets. Place advertising in magazines and newspapers. And get your logo on a billboard overlooking a busy freeway.

      Also, you should do more research on parents. Ask parents if they allow their children to watch R-rated movies or play M-rated games. If they say yes, ask why. Then publish a book in hardcover paper copies and use the research to give parents support and advice. Here are my predictions of possible excuses parents will give:
      1. “I don’t see the harm.” (Help parents see the harm.)
      2. “I don’t want my kids to be social outcasts.” (According to George Washington, “It is better to be alone than in bad company.”)
      3. “If I forbid them from doing so, they’ll do it anyway behind my back.” (If you feel that powerless, you should never have kids.)
      4. “It’s the only way I can get them to stop bothering me!” (Tell parents about alternative solutions.)

      There are also teachers in public schools that show R-rated movies, usually in subjects like English or history. Those teachers feel it’s the only way to hold the attention of their students. We can solve this problem by lifting the burden of student success off of the teachers and shifting it to the students, where it belongs. Student success should be publicized and not swept under the rug. Every quarter, the names and photos of students who make honor roll should be posted. And there should be a valedictorian, but only one valedictorian per graduating class. If there are multiple students with a 5.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, have those students complete a challenge at their graduation ceremony to see who will become valedictorian.

      Finally, try to understand why kids want to see R-rated movies and play M-rated games before they are old enough. Survey kids and teenagers, and write a book for kids about the topic. Here are the responses I predict you will get:
      1. “I want to see/play the best of the best.”
      2. “I want to be seen as an adult.”
      3. “I don’t want to be a weirdo/goody two-shoes/prude/wimp/baby/nerd.”
      4. “It’s the only way I can learn about (insert sensitive topic here). My parents would never want to talk about it.”
      5. “Nobody tells me what to do.”
      6. “It’s illogical and unfair to punish millions of us just because of a few mass shootings!”
      7. “Hundreds of years ago, teenagers could rule entire countries. Why can’t I see an R-rated movie or play an M-rated game?”
      8. “I’m no pawn/monkey/robot/idiot. I know the difference between fantasy and reality!”
      9. “Life isn’t an episode of Sesame Street/The Brady Bunch/Ozzie and Harriet/Full House. I want to be prepared for the real world.”
      I’ll leave it to you to decide how to respond to those statements. I hope you respond to mine.

      Hollywood and Madison Avenue will not change until America changes.

    2. Zero Tolerance
      October 5, 2017 at 8:54 pm

      I guest we should be checking IDs for PG-13 films now. That’s what they do for movies rated 14A up in Canada and for movies rated 12 in England.

    3. C West
      October 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      I think that all the graphic portrayals of violence in media are causing increases in violence in our world. They normalize gun violence as a way of solving problems.
      I wish President Trump would sign an executive order that made it mandatory for content providers to offer an A-la-carte OPTION to consumers. That would not interfere with media consumption of anyone who wants these massive plans but it allows those of us who are concerned about the problem to not subscribe to irresponsible channels.

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