Days after another network chief criticized the violence on CBS's "Criminal Minds," CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler defended the series but said she doesn't allow her 14-year-old daughter to view it.
"It's a much-maligned show," she said after a Television Critics Association panel on Saturday. "I happen to enjoy the show. It's not for everybody. It's an adult show. … It's given an appropriate rating every week. I don't let my kid watch it. I do."
Both Tassler and NBC's Bob Greenblatt, who said last Sunday that "Criminal Minds" is "worse than 'Dexter'" in terms of violence, were responding to critics' questions about whether they are changing their programming because of recent mass shootings. Greenblatt ran Showtime when "Dexter," which features a serial-killer antihero, premiered on the cable network.
Tassler praised "Criminal Minds" and other procedurals on CBS as "mini morality stories" and said it is up to parents — including her — to decide what children should watch. She chided Greenblatt for calling out her network's show.
"I think we're making a huge mistake — and I would say it to Bob to his face — to let any of the conversation devolve into a discussion of my show versus your show or one show versus the other," Tassler said. "This is a much bigger issue, and thank God it's finally being discussed on the level that it is."
The National Rifle Association alleged after the killings in Newtown, Conn., that violent entertainment, not guns, was to blame for mass shootings. This week, Vice President Joe Biden summoned Hollywood executives to Washington to discuss their portrayals of violence.
Tassler said she believes everything her network airs is "appropriate."
"We try to make responsible decisions every day about our content," she said, echoing comments by Greenblatt and other network heads.