Parents Television Council Finds TV Comedies Are Increasingly Using Sexual Language in Scenes With Children

Prime-time television series promoted as “family comedies” are increasingly using sexually graphic language in scenes including child actors, the Parents Television Council (PTC) said in its latest research.

More than four-fifths, 81.5 percent, of all shows studied had scenes of adult actors using explicit sexual dialogue in front of juvenile cast members, PTC said in “Lewd by Example,” its study of 332 episodes of family-themed situation comedies on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and the CW.

“When it comes to airing sexually charged dialogue in front of children, the broadcast television networks eagerly appear to be saying ‘me too’ when they could be saying ‘#metoo,’” PTC President Tim Winter said Sept. 10 in releasing the study. Findings come “when our nation is grappling with a crisis of inappropriate sexual provocation. Furthermore, the networks are marketing this alarming content trend as being appropriate for children to watch.”

The PTC said it found 89 instances of adult actors using sexual dialogue or engaging in discussions of sexual matters in front of child cast members, about once in every two hours of programming.

The U.S. Congress should ensure that the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, the agency overseeing the TV content ratings system, makes sure ratings are accurate, consistent, transparent and publicly accountable, the PTC said.

“We are working with Congressional offices to require the FCC to review and report on the TV content ratings system and oversight of that system by the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board,” Winter said. “It is time that this 20-year-old ratings system is thoroughly reviewed and updated to protect children from harmful media content.”

Winter also called on networks to air programming that is safe and suitable for children during time slots children are likely to utilize.

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Source: Baptist Press