The Parents Television Council is none-too-pleased with the profanity it finds on network TV, particularly the shows on which teenage and child characters use what it calls “overtly sexualized and adult language.”
“During the study period of February-May 2016, language used by child and teen-aged characters included: (bleeped) ‘s**t’ and ‘s**tting,’ (bleeped) ‘f**k’ and ‘f**king,’ ‘erections,’ ‘boobs,’ ‘penis,’ ‘masturbating,’ ‘nymphomaniac,’ ‘ass,’ and more,” per a Tuesday PTC press release.
Quite a list.
TheWrap asked the watchdog group to rank the top offenders for us. Here they are in order: 1) ABC’s “The Real O’Neals,” 2) ABC’s “The Goldbergs,” and 3) Fox’s animated “Bob’s Burgers.”
“It’s bad enough that children are increasingly exposed to vulgar dialogue on television at all hours of the day. It’s even worse that they’re seeing the vulgarity coming directly from the lips of other children,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “This troubling new trend should concern every family, given the inarguable evidence that children are influenced by what they see on TV.”
“Adding fuel to the fire is the contemptuous content ratings system that allows TV networks to rate such explicit content TV-PG or TV-14, suggesting to parents that the programs are appropriate for their kids,” he added. “Yet children are being exposed to age-inappropriate levels of profanity and sexual dialogue especially on family-targeted sitcoms, such as ABC’s ‘The Real O’Neals,’ which contained more sexual dialogue involving teen and child characters than any other primetime program on broadcast TV,” he added.
The PTC found that Disney-owned ABC had the largest number of instances of profanity and sexualized language spoken by children, with 81 instances of profanity and 42 instances of sexual dialogue during the measured time period. In part, this is because ABC airs the most programs about families, Winter’s group said.
Fox has the second-most programs containing child and teen characters using profanity and sexual dialogue, thanks in large part to Sunday’s “Animation Domination” block, which includes “Bob’s Burgers.”
Elsewhere, primetime programming on CBS and NBC is largely targeted to adults, includes few family-themed programs, and thus contains relatively few child or teenage characters.
Spokespersons for ABC and Fox had no comment.