• 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.

    Kia, Red Bull Must Stop Paying For Racist and Misogynistic TV Content, Too

    by  • May 1, 2014 • Advertiser Accountability, Sexualization • 4 Comments

    Earlier this week it was announced that a number of major corporations like Kia and Red Bull had pulled their sponsorship from the LA Clippers in light of the racist statements allegedly made and caught on tape by team owner Donald Sterling.

    Those corporations made the right decision to protect their brand name and image...

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    The Winning Formula

    by  • February 20, 2014 • Television • 3 Comments

    Frozen

    A fundamental tenet of business is first, find out what it is that people want or need; then set about to fill that demand. For years — decades, even — there has been data pointing to a massive, under-served market for family entertainment. The demand was unquestionably...

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    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

    BleepedCurseWords

    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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