Parents Television Council Blasts TV, Movie Industries Over Ratings Systems

“The need for reform is urgent, and the time for reform is now,” PTC president says

The Parents Television Council took aim at the television and movie industries on Wednesday, calling for a complete overhaul of the industries’ ratings systems and blasting the industries’ lack of progress in reducing media violence.

The media watchdog organization claimed that the industries’ ratings systems are tainted by “inaccuracies and inconsistencies,” with PTC president Tim Winter adding that the industries have “done nothing” to reduce media violence since media executives met with Vice President Joe Biden a year ago.

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“In one year, the industry has done nothing to reduce media violence, and new research shows the networks routinely assign age ratings for horrifically violent content on broadcast TV deeming it appropriate for children. Movies are no better, as new research found that PG-13 rated films contain as much violence as R-rated films,” Winter said.

Citing its own research, the PTC claimed that television shows rated TV-14 on broadcast television have “similar levels and types of violence” as cable shows rated TV-MA.

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“Content such as child molestation, rape, mutilation/disfigurement, dismemberment, graphic killings and/or injuries by gunfire and stabbings, violent abductions, physical torture, cannibalism, burning flesh and suicide all showed up as types of violence in the study – yet broadcast TV programs containing these types of violence were rated as appropriate for 14-year-old children,” the organization said.

On the movie end, the organization cited Annenberg Public Policy Center and Ohio State University research, noting that films rated PG-13 contain as much violence as R-rated films.

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Saying that “the need for reform is urgent, and the time for reform is now,” Winter said, “The industry’s lack of effort since the Biden meeting would be laughable if the consequences of an entertainment media culture awash in violence weren’t so sobering. But they are. More than 3,000 medical and sociological studies in the last 50 years have proven that children are affected by the media content they consume.”