• About Melissa Henson

    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    License and Licentiousness

    by  • October 9, 2013 • Sex • 3 Comments

    If it’s there, there must be a demand for it, right?

    How many times have you heard that, or similar arguments, offered as justification for the purely gratuitous flesh parade that is network and cable television today? “They’re just providing what the market wants!” “If people didn’t watch, it wouldn’t be there!”

    Baloney.

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    Why Does MTV Get a Pass?

    by  • August 27, 2013 • Cable Choice • 10 Comments

    How many “scandals” has MTV orchestrated in recent memory? And yet when they erupt, scorn is not directed at MTV, but heaped on the performers. And only the female performers, at that.

    After the MTV-produced Super Bowl halftime show which saw Justin Timberlake ripping Janet Jackson’s bodice and revealing her breast to a national television...

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    Fall Shows: “lowestcommondenominator,” and “Ugly stew of racist sexist shtick.”

    by  • May 22, 2013 • Advertiser Accountability • 1 Comment

    We’ve just come out of Upfronts season, a dog and pony show where the networks fly their top stars to New York City to mingle with advertisers in an attempt to convince sponsors to commit advertising dollars “upfront,” ahead of the fall season. Sponsors are wined and dined and given a preview of what’s...

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    Adultery Is In at ABC

    by  • May 20, 2013 • Sex, Sexualization • 2 Comments

    After Sex and the City, Desperate Housewives, Girls, Girlfriends, Cashmere Mafia, Hot in Cleveland, Pretty Little Liars, Golden Girls, Designing Women, Sisters… what TV has really been lacking is more shows about four girlfriends, “each on her own path to self-discovery.” So ABC is giving us Mistresses.

    Although the female foursome has been done, and...

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    Coming Soon To A Theater Near You: Ultra-Violence

    by  • May 17, 2013 • Violence • 0 Comments

    Remember the oh-so-earnest PSA featuring Hollywood celebrities in the aftermath of Newtown, calling for Americans to “demand a plan” for dealing with violence?  Hollywood’s plans evidently didn’t involve curtailing on-screen violence.  According to published reports, the esteemed Cannes film festival’s preview trailer showcases some intensely, “ultra-violent” films.

    “First came a scene from Nicolas...

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    Who Sets the Standard?

    by  • May 9, 2013 • Broadcast Decency • 0 Comments

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    The outgoing chairman of the FCC wants to change the rules on what kind of content can be subject to enforcement action by the commission.

    Under current standards, any content that fits the legal definition of “indecent,” i.e. “language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive...

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    When Did the FCC Become a Lobbying Arm of the Entertainment Industry?

    by  • April 10, 2013 • Broadcast Decency • 0 Comments

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    With just weeks left to his tenure as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski quietly announced a rules change that would have the FCC only pursue the most egregious indecency complaints from the public. Expletives, non-sexual nudity, and other content most parents would probably not wish their children to be exposed to...

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    Cable TV’s Death By A Thousand Cuts

    by  • April 8, 2013 • Cable Choice • 0 Comments

    The cable industry for the last few years has been trying desperately, if unconvincingly, to assert that claims of its death have been greatly exaggerated. It’s hard to ignore the fact that more than 80% of Americans are still paying for cable subscriptions. But equally hard to ignore is the fact that each year...

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    Psychopaths Coming Soon to a TV Near You

    by  • March 11, 2013 • Violence • 1 Comment

    glory_violenceNow that award season is over, Hollywood’s big muckety-mucks can finally stop patting themselves on the back for all the “good” their industry supposedly does for the world, and get back to the serious business glorifying psychopaths.

    If entertainment industry leaders are worried about increased regulation...

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    PTC Applauds Cablevision Antitrust Suit against Viacom for Network Bundling

    by  • March 5, 2013 • Cable Choice • 0 Comments

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    The Parents Television Council heralded its support for Cablevision’s antitrust lawsuit against Viacom for the forced bundling of cable networks. PTC President Tim Winter issued the following statement:“We are overjoyed at today’s announcement that Cablevision is seeking the relief that consumers – and especially families – have long been waiting for. In a...

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    End of an Era?

    by  • March 1, 2013 • Misrated, Sexualization • 0 Comments

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    Seth MacFarlane has built a career on programs that wallow in misogyny and anti-Semitism; joke about violence against women, rape, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality; and even ridiculing children with disabilities.

    Knowing this, the Academy still chose to invite MacFarlane to host the 2013 Academy Awards, where he proceeded to offend and outrage millions of viewers...

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