Because Our Children Are Watching®
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Volume 11 • Number 5 • September/October 2009
Hollywood Demands “Right” to Corrupt Kids! The entertainment industry is actively working to dismantle the broadcast decency laws! For years, they’ve argued around the periphery (“Just tell us what the rules are, and we’ll abide by them”), but now their real intentions are laid bare, in writing. In recent arguments before a federal court, Hollywood told the court that there should be no laws restricting broadcast indecency whatsoever!
Bottom line: they’re spending a fortune to create for themselves a “right” to have naked people drop f-bombs in every living room in America at any time of the day – even in front of children. In their arguments before the Second Circuit, lawyers for the Fox Broadcasting Network said that the Federal Communications Commission’s rules against nudity and the fword in prime time violate the First Amendment. The FCC cited Fox for airing the f-word during two live broadcasts;
[We will] fight to the end for our ability to put controversial, offensive, and even tasteless content on the air. — Peter Chernin, President of News Corp., parent company of the Fox TV Network (Broadcasting & Cable, October 21, 2008)
but Fox claims that because they didn’t script the celebrities’ f-bombs, they shouldn’t be held accountable. Naturally, a chorus of Hollywood’s so-called “creative elite” of writers and producers joined in, telling the court that the laws against profanity on the public airwaves are unconstitutional because they "interfere with the process of artistic and creative expression." Keep in mind that the law clearly allows them to air such graphic material after 10:00 p.m., when most children are asleep. But that isn’t good enough for them. According to the briefs filed by many creative artists responsible for scripting American TV, it is impossible to express oneself artistically or creatively without being able to use words like the f-word when children are likely to be viewing. The PTC has repeatedly warned the public about Hollywood’s seeming compulsion to shock and offend, but after this latest outrage the bottom line is clear: the entertainment industry is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to demand the “right” to show full nudity and use any kind of foul language any time it wants, in any amount it wants, without any sense of responsibility or accountability for the consequences to America’s children. For the latest news and updates on the PTC’s fight to maintain and enforce decency laws on the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves, go to: www.parentstv.org/fcc
Advertisers leave show
Rape and Murder on Your Dime in Sons of Anarchy
Nickelodeon Shoves Filth at Kids
The Gift That Gives Twice: Contribute now
PTC’s Advertiser Awareness Campaign Prompts 32% of Two and a Half Men Sponsors to Take their Ads Elsewhere dren are in the viewing audience. The following is the list of advertisers that stopped advertising on Two and a Half Men in 2009:
he PTC’s effort to alert advertisers to the raunchy content of CBS’ TwoandaHalfMenisbearingfruit. So far in 2009, 31 companies have decided that the humor on Two and a Half Men are not in line with their corporate values, and have decided to spend their advertising dollars elsewhere. The PTC contacted each advertiser on CBS’ Two and a Half Men to warn them about the content of the show, which barrages viewers with sexual scenes and jokes, and frequently airs foul language. There are countless jokes involving oral sex, male genitalia, and luring women into bed — and all of these situations often include dialogue with a child actor. Out of 94 sponsors for the show from January 2009 — September 2009, PTC research found that 31 sponsors stopped advertising on the original series and on reruns. The PTC applauds these companies
for exercising responsibility for their sponsorshipdollars.Severalofthecompanies that pulled their ads let us know thattheysharedPTC’sconcernsandthat the content of the show does not match up with their corporate image. For instance, in a July 2009 letter, a Lowe’s executive customer service representative contacted the PTC regarding their advertising support of Two and a Half Men, saying that, “Lowe’s has strict guidelines that govern the placement of our advertising. Since we don’t have enough lead-time on a local basis to view the shows, we have removed Two and a Half Men from all of our local TV buys moving forward.” As the new fall season begins, we hope that more sponsors will add their names to this growing list of responsible corporations which have chosen not to underwrite graphic content during the hours when chilw w w. P a r e n t s T V. o r g ®
T-Mobile Honda Saturn Abbott Laboratories (Humira) Bayer HealthCare LLC (One a Day Women’s) Bristol Myers-Squibb Company L’Oreal USA (Maybelline) Pfizer (Lipitor) Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, Inc. Tate & Lyle (Splenda) Tylenol CSC Brands LP Darden Restaurants (Red Lobster) Frito-Lay North America, Inc. General Mills Kraft Foods OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC Papa John’s International, Inc. Sunsweet Growers, Inc. Best Buy Lowe’s Macy’s Sears Staples, Inc. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Aflac AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company Capital One Chase Bank Liberty Mutual Royal Caribbean International Take a moment to thank these companies for behaving responsibly in choosing not to support the raunchy, misogynistic content of Two and a Half Men. Contact information can be found at http://www.parentstv.org/ PTC/advertisers/main.asp PTC Insider
You Paid for Graphic Rape and Murder on FX’s Sons of Anarchy
’s disgusting biker drama Sons of Anarchy is choked with unbelievably graphic sex, extremely gory and blood-soaked violence, and non-stop profanity — shocking content that YOU are forced to pay for with your monthly cable or satellite subscription: I Bikers drag a bound member of a rival gang to an abandoned factory. Opie stands over the man with his gun. Another gang member shoots the man in the side of his face. Blood, gore and teeth splatter about. The man lies on the ground, moaning in pain. Opie shoots him in the head, killing him, and then takes out his knife. The viewer hears the sound of flesh being cut as Opie carves a bloody “A” symbol into the dead man's stomach. I The gang leader’s wife Gemma is knocked unconscious and kidnapped by a gang of White Power bikers. She wakes up, with her hands tied to a chain link fence, faced by three masked men. As Gemma shrieks, “You know who I am, you god**** piece of s***?”, the men rip off her pants. A close-up shows a crucifix on the wall as the men rape Gemma from behind and sexual grunts are heard. Another
rapist faces her. Rapist: “I want you to pass on a message to your old man. Tell him to stop selling guns to n****** and wet*****. Or we find you and we do this again.” I At a party for a gang member, a stripper dances around a pole. She is completely naked except for boots, a thong and nipple coverings. Bobby has his face in the crotch of another stripper, performing oral sex on her. But the most disgusting thing about Sons of Anarchy — and all of FX’s programming — is the fact that it is carried on a bundled tier of networks, where every subscriber must pay for it — and where YOUR children can see it! Write to your Senators and Congressman, and DEMAND that they provide Cable Choice! Help protect YOUR children from harmful TV content — and save yourself hundreds of dollars a year in the bargain! Updates on the PTC’s Cable Choice initiative and contact information for your Representatives can be found on the PTC’s website at http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/cable/main.asp.
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C H A N N E L
S U R F I N G
New Fall Lineup A new television season is underway, leaving many parents and grandparents wondering what the new shows are all about, and which they can safely watch with the children in their lives. Sadly, the networks failed to produce a single family-friendly series this season, even while targeting some of the raciest new shows directly at children. Here are a few of the most graphic programs that premiered recently: Melrose Place CW (Tuesdays, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Glee Fox (Wednesdays, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Produced by the creator of cable’s sexobsessed Nip/Tuck, Glee is a supposedly light-hearted comedy-musical about the teenage outcasts in a high school glee club; but the show indulges in constant sexual references. The first episode contained references to bulimia and fellatio, the lead character denouncing an abstinence class, and an extended musical sequence in which teens ground their crotches together and mimed oral sex. Though the program has been heavily marketed at teenagers and even younger audiences, parents should not let the singing, dancing and high school setting fool them: Glee is definitely not High School Musical: the T.V. Series.
Advertised with the slogans “Tuesdays Are a B****,” “Tuesday's the New Humpday” and “Ménage à Tues,” this revival of the ‘90s prime-time soap centers on the lives of the tenants and neighbors living in an apartment complex in Los Angeles. The original Melrose Place series was an over-the-top drama filled with sex and violence, and the new version lives up to its past. Sexual situations in the first episode included references to past adultery by the characters and a man offering his date $5000 for sex — an offer she accepts. Also seen was a bloody corpse floating in a swimming pool. The show’s executive producer has boasted that “the network told us to push the edge and not to soft-pedal… There will always be darkness to this show.”
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The Vampire Diaries CW (Thursdays, 8:00 p.m. ET)
Vampires are all the rage in teen entertainment today; but The Vampire Diaries is not a chaste Gothic romance like Twilight. Orphaned teen Elena and her troubled younger brother Jeremy encounter the vampire siblings Stefan and Damon, who want to kill Elena. Loaded with supernatural violence, blood and a large amount of sex – in the first episode a girl, Vicki, discusses having deflowered Jeremy, and another boy tries to rape Vicki – the program has also contained scenes showing teen drinking and drug use.
CW (Tuesdays, 8:00 p.m. ET)
CW (Mondays, 9:00 p.m. ET)
After opening its first episode last year with a scene of oral sex between teenagers in a high school parking lot, 90210 went on to establish a track record of sex-soaked storylines about teens losing their virginity, doing drugs, and getting pregnant. One male character’s father is a pornography mogul who gives his son and his friends a tour of a movie set where a porn video is being shot. Foul language is frequent, including words like “b*stard,” “*ss,” “b*tch,” and “screw,” as well as references to the male anatomy like, “big and meaty,” “enormous,” and “I like the way you handle balls.” This year the first episode featured a party where a girl is seduced by an older man who plies her with alcohol, pressures her to have sex with him, and takes a nude picture of her.
Gossip Girl is the teen-targeted CW network’s premiere showcase for sex and sleaze. Following the drinking, pot smoking, drug-abusing and bedhopping hijinks of a group of wealthy teens, Gossip Girl is outrageously adult. Language on the show has included “f’ing,” “wh*re,” “*ss,” “b*tch,” and “slut,” while advertising has used the teen slang “OMFG” (“Oh my f****** God”) and “WTF” (“What the f***”), and boasted to teens that the show is “every parent’s nightmare” and “very bad for you.” Sex scenes have included one boy saying a girl was so perfect-looking he wanted to “violate” her; a scene of a boy waking up in bed with two women; and the same boy trying to sexually assault two different girls on different occasions. Drugs and liquor are presented as glamorous, easy to obtain, and part of every teen’s everyday life. And parents should not expect the program to mellow: “This is the juiciest season yet in terms of intrigues and hookups,” says the show’s producer.
The Cleveland Show Fox (Sundays, 8:30 p.m. ET)
In an interview, Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane stated that this Family Guy spinoff focuses on African-American father Cleveland, his new wife and her children only because viewers wouldn’t watch a spin-off about Family Guy’s resident lothario Quagmire. Nevertheless, all of the trademark “humor” of MacFarlane’s previous shows is present on Cleveland: a dog being run over and then eaten by Cleveland’s Southern “redneck” neighbors; Cleveland running screaming through his bathroom with a possum clamped to his crotch; endless scenes of characters projectile vomiting and passing gas; pubic hair and genital jokes; frequent racist remarks by his neighbors about the African-American Cleveland; and a creepy relationship between Cleveland and his step-daughter. w w w. P a r e n t s T V. o r g ®
For more information about these and other new and returning shows, visit the PTC's Family Guide at www.ParentsTV.org.
Nickelodeon’s Glenn Martin, DDS Shoves Filth at Kids!
he Nickelodeon cable and satellite network is supposedly devoted to programming for children. But since August 19th, the kid’s network has been showing the violent and sleazy “family comedy” Glenn Martin, DDS nearly every week night at 8:00 p.m. ET — only 7 p.m. in the Central and Mountain time zones. And even worse, Nick’s president has stated that the show’s raunchy humor is deliberately targeting little children, in the hopes that the show will draw adults into watching with their kids! Glenn Martin, DDS follows dentist Glenn, his wife Jackie, their sex-crazed 13-year-old son Conor, 11-year-old daughter Courtney, and Canine, a dog with a gigantic anal cavity, as they travel around the country. The show’s disgusting “comedy” has included a clown being set on fire
The man who ran Disney for two decades and the woman running the supposedly kid-friendly Nick at Nite have both apparently taken leave of their senses... [Glenn Martin’s] colorful animation is enough to attract the kids who watch Nickelodeon/ Nick at Nite. And when they tune in, they'll get a bunch of sex jokes, some racism, mocking of religion, violence, and have the opportunity to hear words like ‘whore’ tossed around. — Scott D. Pierce TV critic (Deseret News, August 14, 2009)
and burning to death; Conor having his entire head shoved up an elephant’s rectum, as onlookers are graphically shown vomiting into their popcorn; and Jackie throwing Glenn on a bed, stripping off his clothes and ordering him to “shut up and grab the headboard!” in order to have sex — and all this was only in the first episode! Other episodes have shown 11-year-old Courtney considering working as a stripper; Glenn asking a group of mobsters if the women with them are their wives, and being told “Don’t talk about our wives in front of the whores!”, a man being drowned and devoured in a tank of piranhas; Conor consulting a “spirit guide” in search of “major boobage;” and an entire episode mocking the Amish, showing Courtney making money by showing them Paris Hilton’s pornographic video. Glenn Martin was produced by Michael Eisner — for 20 years the head of Disney. That anybody in Hollywood would think this show is funny is disturbing enough; but the fact that Disney’s ex-boss and the Nickelodeon network are putting this filth on specifically for children to watch is outrageous! And, of course, because Nickelodeon is on basic cable, everyone with cable or satellite TV is paying for this garbage, even if they never watch it. To read more about Glenn Martin, DDS, go to http://www.parentstv.org/PTC/publications/TVTrends/2009/0904.asp
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The Gift that Gives Twice: PTC’s 2009 Matching Campaign
The PTC’s 2009 Challenge-Matching Campaign is underway! If you have not yet received a Campaign Appeal, keep an eye on your mailbox, because it should be arriving soon. This Campaign establishes a goal for PTC members across America to match gifts contributed by the PTC’s largest benefactors. Bottom line: every contribution made is matched — dollar for dollar — and immediately invested in the battle for decency on television. I Do you want to have a choice of cable channels; and pay only for those you choose? I Would you like to see Family Guy broadcast only after 10 p.m.? I Are you worried the new FCC won’t protect your family from sexually-graphic images and profanity? I Have you noticed the ever-increasing amount of casual drug use shown on television? For almost 15 years, the Parents Television Council has focused on these and other media decency issues. And we have made remarkable progress on many fronts during 2009. We need to make sure we don’t lose ground — not after so
L. Brent Bozell III Founder Tim Winter President Mark Barnes Senior Consultant Melissa Henson Director of Communications and Public Education Casey Bohannan Internet Communications Manager Christopher Gildemeister Senior Writer/Editor
Michelle Jackson-McCoy, Ph.D. Director of Research Aubree Bowling Senior Entertainment Analyst Greg Rock, Ally Matteodo, Amanda Pownall, Oliver Saria Entertainment Analysts Dan Isett Director of Public Policy Gavin Mc Kiernan National Grassroots Director Kevin Granich Assistant to the Grassroots Director Glen Erickson Director of Corporate Relations La Quita Marshall Assistant to the Director of Corporate Relations Patrick Salazar Vice President of Development
many hard-won victories! During these very difficult economic times, we know your family comes first, and that your church and community also need your help. We also know your giving can only go so far. When making these tough choices, consider this: the Parents Television Council is the leading group in America fighting the negative impact of indecency on television!
Our nation is confronted by this impact every day: Increases in random violent crime. Skyrocketing teen pregnancy and high school drop-out rates. Unruly and disrespectful youth. Increased drug use. And all this is set against a seemingly unstoppable coarsening of our treasured cultural values. If you have already sent in a gift this year, please try to help again. If you haven’t, we urge you to join the thousands of Americans who support the PTC and make such a crucial difference in challenging Hollywood and Madison Avenue to clean up television. Please, send your gift as soon as you can — the need is great, the value is crystal-clear, and the time is now!
Marty Waddell Senior Development Officer Nancy Meyer Development Officer Tracy Ferrell Development Coordinator Brad Tweten Chief Financial Officer
PTC’s Hollywood Headquarters 707 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 2075 Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 629-9255 The PTC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research and education foundation. © 2009 • Parents Television Council www.ParentsTV.org®
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Elinor W. Clifford October 27, 1922 February 8, 2009
Friend of the Parents Television Council
Meet the PTC’s Board of Directors The Parents Television Council is the nation’s most influential advocacy organization protecting children against sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. In this crucial effort we are supported by more than 1.3 million everyday Americans, and a small but talented full-time staff; but our work would be impossible without our Board of Directors. The PTC’s Board meets at least three times each year and currently includes seven members. These devoted men and women provide the leadership and financial support which is vital to the continued success of the PTC’s mission of protecting children from harmful media influences.
Philip Friedmann Currently the Director and CEO of the Friedmann Family Trust, a philanthropic foundation which supports medical research and advocates on behalf of children in various areas of public policy, Philip Friedmann is also cofounder of Recycled Paper Greetings. Formed with his college roommate in 1971, RPG introduced commercial greeting cards on 100% recycled paper and helped to make recycled greetings a nationwide accepted phenomenon. Mr. Friedmann also sits on the Board of the Foundation for Neurologic Diseases of Harvard Medical School. Mr. Friedmann is a graduate of Amherst College, attended New York University’s Law Center, and has an interest in a recreational golf resort development on the South Oregon Coast. Mr. Friedmann and his wife, Regan, have five children. © 2009 Parents Television Council, All Rights Reserved; PTC, Parents Television Council, Because Our Children are Watching and PTC Insider are trademarks of the Parents Television Council. No one may use these marks without the advance of the Parents Television Council.
Help the PTC Grow! What people see on television does have an influence. And scientific studies have shown that children in particular can be negatively affected by violent or sexual program content. The Parents Television Council demands responsible behavior from the entertainment industry by holding advertisers accountable for the negative programming they sponsor, and encouraging them to support family-friendly entertainment; by advocating consumer Cable Choice, in which viewers only pay for those channels they want to watch; by mobilizing our grassroots members to take action locally; and by urging our government to enforce the broadcast decency laws supported by the American people. But the PTC can only accomplish these goals through the committed support of individuals like you. Please share this newsletter with your friends and family, and encourage your parents and grandparents, friends and colleagues, to join our effort… because our children are watching.
It’s easy to join the PTC. Log on to www.parentstv.org/ptc/joinus/secure.asp. Or mail this form to: Parents Television Council, Attn: Gavin Mc Kiernan, 707 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 2075, Los Angeles, CA 90017 NAME:_________________________________________________________ ADDRESS:______________________________________________________ CITY:______________________________ STATE:_______ ZIP:___________ E-MAIL (for FREE E-Alerts!):______________________________________
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