TV Content Ratings System Has Failed Children For 20 Years, Parents TV Council Says In New Study

Parents Television Council

The TV content ratings system is a shameful failure that is causing young American minds to be polluted with smut, profanity and graphic violence, says Parents TV Council in its latest study in which it pounds on commercial broadcast networks ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

“Protecting children or protecting Hollywood?” the study asks, rhetorically of the ratings system, created and implemented under the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to block inappropriate programs from the eyes of children. The answer is a foregone conclusion, given that it’s the seventh PTC has done on the ratings system over the years, all of which have foamed over to varying degrees about the system, and commercial broadcast networks, while the TV universe grew exponential around PTC. This latest study, marking  the 20th anniversary of the system is, in part, a sort of best-of look back at previous findings,  as well as new some yeasty new material.

Among the juicier bits, PTC complained that: regularly-scheduled series rated TV-G do not exist in primetime, on those four networks, and TV-PG shows are vanishing too. Plus, the org complained, it’s impossible to distinguish between the content of programs rated TV-PG and those rated TV-14, and programs rated TV-14 include way too much graphic violence and sex for a 14-year-old.

On the bright side, PTC forgot to say in its study, primetime viewing of programming on the commercial broadcast networks looked at has plunged 76% since the system was implemented.

PTC continues to complain the TV content ratings system is administered by the TV networks.  “The same companies create media content, rate the content, and run the board which oversees the ratings process – a conflict of interest which would never be tolerated” in any other industry, PTC notes, scolding the FCC and Congress for not jumping on its recommendation all these years to set up a ratings review board independent of the entertainment industry.


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