CBS’s ‘Stalker’ Blasted by Parents Television Council for ‘Torture Porn’ Scene

Before it’s even premiered, new Dylan McDermott drama draws the wrath of the PTC

The new CBS drama “Stalker” hasn’t even premiered yet — but that’s not stopping the Parents Television Council from condemning the show as “torture porn” and warning parents about the show, which debuts Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.

The PTC takes particular issue with the premiere episode’s opening scene, which the organization characterizes as “a graphically violent scene featuring a woman being tortured and murdered.”

Also read: ‘Stalker’ Review: CBS Drama Does Not Hate Women, It Loves Torture

The watchdog organization cites TheWrap‘s own review of the series, which reads in part, “The first two minutes of CBS’s new crime drama ‘Stalker’ are horrific. An innocent woman is taunted, tortured and murdered by a masked man whose only desire is to see his victim writhe in agony and fear before she dies at his hand. Making matters worse, the attack is so realistic and gruesome that it feels like the show’s writer and executive producer, Kevin Williamson, is reveling in the brutality.”

In a press release issued Wednesday, the PTC went on to say that “Stalker” will “presumably be rated with a TV-14 rating, meaning CBS deems it appropriate for 14-year-old children.”

Also read: ‘Stalker’ Creator Kevin Williamson Declares, ‘We’ve All Stalked Someone’ at TCA Panel

The episode will air with the rating TV-14 DSV, which denotes suggestive dialogue, sexual situations and violence.

PTC president Tim Winter said, “Tonight, CBS and 200 of its affiliated stations around the nation will use the public airwaves ostensibly for ‘torture porn.’ How does that serve the public interest, as mandated by every broadcast license issued to CBS stations by the FCC? It doesn’t. And it’s time that those who distribute and sponsor TV shows like ‘Stalker’ are held publicly to account for exhibiting graphic and gratuitous violence, especially against women.”

Winter added that, given the subject matter, “Stalker” should be rated TV-MA.

Also read: CBS’s New Show First Looks: Watch Trailers for ‘Extant,’ ‘Stalker,’ ‘The McCarthys’ and More

“We are warning parents about this graphic scene, given that it will air at the beginning of the show and that it will presumably carry a very low TV-14 rating,” he said. “Since the episode contains graphic violence, the accurate rating for the program according to the industry’s own standard is TV-MA. Rating this type of material as appropriate for a child would not only be wrong, it would be fraudulent.”

CBS did not have immediate comment for  TheWrap.

“Stalker” stars Dylan McDermott and Maggie Q as detectives with the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit who investigate stalking incidents such as voyeurism, cyber harassment and romantic fixation.

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