The PTC is calling on corporations that are re-evaluating their affiliate agreements with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to also ensure they are not underwriting nightly dress rehearsals of gun violence on television.
“In recent days, news outlets have reported that a number of corporations are severing ties with the NRA following the tragic events in Parkland, Florida. We call on those same corporations, and indeed we call on all corporate advertisers, to ensure their media dollars are not underwriting bloody gun violence on television. Corporations that eschew gun violence must not be hypocrites by sponsoring simulations of gun violence on television, especially during the hours when children are likely to be in the viewing audience,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
New PTC research has found that TV violence – and gun violence in particular – that is marketed as appropriate for children has increased on primetime broadcast television shows in the five years since Newtown. During the November 2017 “sweeps” period of primetime broadcast TV shows, almost 61% (175 of the 287 episodes examined) contained violence; and 39% (112 episodes) contained violence and guns.
“Advertising dollars are the make or break element of any broadcast TV show. The companies that have changed their minds about being publicly affiliated with the NRA must also consider where their advertising dollars are spent in order to fully tackle the issue of societal gun violence.
“Gun violence is ubiquitous. It airs on TV every night and is rated by the entertainment industry as appropriate for 14-year-old children – and in many cases, for even younger children. This toxic flow can be stopped if advertisers speak up and cease their financial support for violent programming that is marketed as safe for children. It’s time for advertisers to confront the media violence issue head on.”