• PTC Says “Good Riddance” to Once Upon a Time

    by  • February 8, 2018 • ABC, Broadcast Decency, Violence • 5 Comments


    PTC research showed ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” was part of a disturbing TV trend of marketing grisly violence to kids.

     The Parents Television Council welcomed the news that Disney-owned ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” has been canceled, given that the show’s child-friendly characters were routinely used in graphically violent scenes, including dismemberment, death, and other grisly violence. One episode of the PG-rated series showed Snow White surrounded by corpses, while she crushed human hearts in her hands.

    “Good riddance to ABC’s ‘Once Upon a Time,’ the last in a wave of fantasy franchises that marketed grisly violence to young children. To the great detriment of children and families, ABC and other broadcast outlets ‘reimagined’ a number of beloved fairytales with historical appeal to kids, twisting child-friendly characters into dark, violent and explicit fare. Every single episode was rated by the network to be appropriate for children,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

    According to recent PTC research of fantasy-themed prime-time broadcast TV shows, viewers of “Once Upon a Time,” saw supernaturally-themed violence (such as people being magically tortured) on a regular basis. Viewers saw four instances of dismemberment, 37 deaths, and a total of 261 acts of violence during the February, May and November “sweeps” periods alone from 2011-present. There were 155 profanities used.

    “Decades of scientific research proves children can be harmed from consuming graphic sex, violence, and profanity in entertainment. When it comes to inherently child-friendly franchises that they grew up on – for instance, Snow White – parents naturally expect that programs featuring those characters would be appropriate for their kids. When the TV networks rate these shows as being appropriate for children – and in this case, ‘Once Upon a Time’ was given a PG rating – that expectation is only reinforced. As licensees of the publicly-owned airwaves, ABC and the other broadcast networks must do better to serve the interests of children and families.”



    5 Responses to PTC Says “Good Riddance” to Once Upon a Time

    1. Noah Woodyard
      March 19, 2018 at 9:47 am

      This makes absolutely no sense. It is an adaptation of the stories. Realistically some of the characters in the show are actually closer to being the canon ones from Grimm’s fairytales… Those were made for children! Look up the real Cinderella story as well as the Littl mermaid and tell me if in your honest opinion those would be better for kids.

      In truth, if you want to make the argument that kids shouldn’t be exposed to OUAT, allow them to read the original tales and see if they aren’t more scarred from those instead.

      As long as OUAT is teaching the moral values of family, awareness of real danger, the conflict of “good” vs. “evil” where both sides are subjective, I hate to see the show go.

    2. Pam
      February 16, 2018 at 9:12 am

      In view of the violence in Florida this week, maybe the entertainment industry needs to rethink what they label appropriate for children. Since several of the shooters have committed suicide, we may never know all the factors that put them over the edge. There have already been several in 2018 and we’re just 6 weeks into this year.
      Water always sinks to the lowest level, perhaps we need to uphold standards so that they do not sink also.

    3. Maddox Cox
      February 16, 2018 at 7:27 am

      It was not meant for kids

    4. February 11, 2018 at 10:42 pm

      Great post! Thanks for sharing with us.

    5. MPE
      February 8, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      The show should have ended earlier, if only so it did not get to the point where it needed grisly violence to hold interest. When you run out of ideas for a show, it’s time to get it off the air.

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