There are hundreds of stories appearing daily in newspapers across the country
that demonstrate tragic, heartbreaking accounts of young lives and innocence
lost to a popular culture that often devalues human life while routinely
glorifying dangerous and irresponsible behavior.
An eighteen-year-old boy found sleeping in a stolen car steals a police
officer’s gun and shoots two officers and a dispatcher in the head. After his
arrest, he tells police,
“Life is like a video game. Everybody’s got to die
“Lisa,” a teenager from Long Island, became a fan
of TV’s Sex and the City when she was 14. She quickly lost her virginity
and soon “graduated” to ordering cosmopolitans at bars she snuck into, while
cheating on her boyfriend with up to seven other guys — in one week. She said,
“When you’re that age, you try to emulate people on TV. Carrie smoked, so I
smoked, Samantha thought hooking up with random people is no big deal, so I did,
too. I love the show, but it made it a little easier to justify my behavior.”
Six boys, aged 14 to 18, are arraigned in Mineola, New York, after a crime spree
that included mugging one man and menacing motorists with a baseball bat, a
crowbar and a broomstick.
They say they were inspired by a popular video game.
These stories are, sadly, not unusual today.
did we go wrong?
It may seem overly simplistic to say that our
media culture is to blame, but it is virtually impossible to
ignore the mounting evidence implicating television as a leading
factor in our cultural
prevailing voice in the entertainment industry claims that “it’s
just harmless entertainment,” but common sense says that if you
watch something over and over and over again, the cumulative
impact will influence how you view the world.
Broadcasters know this is true. During the last Super Bowl, the
television network charged sponsors $3 million for a 30-second
commercial. That’s $100,000 DOLLARS A SECOND!
Would an advertiser pay that much to air its
commercial if viewers did not
alter their behavior?
is an ever-expanding body of knowledge about the long-term harm
to families and children caused by irresponsible media content.
Over a thousand studies conducted over the last 50 years have
negative influence that TV has on our children and our culture:
are just a few of the literally hundreds of studies that have
proven that what children see in the media does influence their
development, their behavior — and their lives.
According to the American Psychological Association, “The debate
is over! ”
no longer ignore the entertainment industry’s unremitting march
into the gutter. We can not simply shrug and silently assent
when Hollywood’s defenders say, “If you don’t like it, change
cannot cede more ground to those who irresponsibly build
fortunes while compromising our children’s lives and futures.
The stakes are too high.
fallout touches every family — even those who are vigilant about
what their kids watch. It is every caring adult’s responsibility
and obligation to take a stand.
and television executives, producers, directors, and stars
gleefully wallow in their envelope-pushing, taboo-breaking,
“edgy stories,” while turning a blind eye to the heart-wrenching
real-life tragedies and overwhelming scientific proof of the
social harm they are inflicting with their media products.
more than a decade now, the PTC has been combating these
dangerous attitudes while working to restore responsibility in
the entertainment industry.
And although network publicity offices have been publicly
dismissive of the PTC’s impact, privately, they are carefully
watching our every move.
Why? Because the PTC is making a huge difference in
the war against Hollywood’s harmful programming, and they know it.
After the release of the PTC study,
The Rap on Rap,
the BET network cancelled a show named in the
report due to pressure from sponsors.
show’s replacement was scheduled at 2:00
BET President Reginald Hudlin ultimately resigned.
The CBS series Swingtown featured group sex, adultery, a high school
student having sex with her teacher, and adults using drugs.
After being contacted by the PTC, Swingtown’s
announced that they wanted nothing to do with the
show. By the last episode, Swingtown
had lost an incredible 69% of its audience, and the show had
only one major sponsor. In January 2009, CBS announced
that Swingtown would not be returning. The PTC got word through
anonymous industry sources that some inside
CBS privately blamed the PTC for Swingtown’s
research demonstrated the inaccurate and inconsistent
application of television content ratings, leading to
congressional action in 2008. The Child Safe Viewing Act was introduced by Senator Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and
passed by an overwhelming bipartisan margin in both houses of
Congress. The President signed the bill into law on December
massive “secret shopper” campaign, PTC chapter members visited
over 100 local video game retailers and found that stores sold
Mature-rated video games to minors 36% of the time. After these
findings were publicized, Wal-Mart immediately implemented tighter sales
policies in every store to address children’s access to
mature-rated entertainment products;
company’s CEO personally thanked the PTC for making them a
better and more trustworthy retailer for parents.
The PTC was ceaseless in its efforts to warn
advertisers about the content of Dirt,
a tawdry cable drama that routinely depicted characters
masturbating, engaging in sex and indulging in sexual fetishes.
Ultimately, more than 50 major advertisers stopped supporting
the show, leading the FX cable network to cancel the program.
boldly confronted airlines about the availability of graphic,
in-flight video entertainment displayed on overhead monitors. At
shareholder’s meetings, PTC officers and members demanded the
airlines address this issue. Since then, United, American and Delta Airlines have all
agreed to block adult content from their overhead screens.
The PTC opposed the extreme violence and
anti-social attitudes of the CBS serial killer drama
Thanks to the PTC, advertisers like Mercedes-Benz, Allstate
Insurance, Dannon yogurt, Paul Mitchell hair products and Intuit
(parent company of TurboTax), refused to sponsor the program.
Many other advertisers withdrew their sponsorship after
reviewing the content, costing CBS millions of dollars — and
making it clear that there is a price to be paid for promoting
violence on the public airwaves.
you are a parent, a grandparent or a concerned citizen, the
Parents Television Council is fighting for your interests, and
the interests of your children and grandchildren. They are our
future – and television is shaping them and the future in which
they will live.