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Parents Television Council and VMAs Continue Their Mutually Beneficial Relationship

By | Monday August 26, 2013 @ 12:03pm PDT

Without Parents Television Council, MTV‘s aged Video Music Awards trophy show might lose its status as The Go To Program for former Disney star kids looking for an image update. And, without the VMAs, PTC would have one less occasion to promote its campaign to compel cable networks to offer programming a la carte. It’s a great working relationship.

Related: VMAs Draw About 10.1M Viewers

“MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate ‘twerking’ in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?” PTC wondered rhetorically the morning after last night’s VMAs, in which Cyrus, dressed as a slightly desperate-to-stay-relevant former Disney child-star in a nude-colored bikini, twerked on thirtysomething Robin Thicke, who was dressed as an NFL referee on a dinner date. “MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials — while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14,” the advocacy group charged this morning. Read More »

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PTC Calls The MPAA’s ‘Check The Box’ Campaign An “Empty Gesture”

While the Parents Television Council’s view is no surprise, the activist group made it forcefully this week in a letter to MPAA chief Chris Dodd calling for meaningful changes in the movie ratings system and its treatment of on-screen violence. The “Check The Box” initiative that Dodd unveiled at last month’s CinemaCon confab changes movie ratings labeling to help people see the specific rationale — for example whether a PG-13 or R-rated film received the designation due to its use of profanity, nudity, smoking, drug use, or violence. PTC says that just gives studios “the appearance of doing something about media violence without actually doing anything at all.” The MPAA can “keep rating violent movies PG-13″ which means studios can “market those violent films to kids … PG-13 films run the gamut from Les Miserables to Drag Me To Hell. And because it applies to everything, in practice, it means nothing.” Read More »

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PTC Targets MTV’s ‘I Want My Pants Back’ Over Racy Content

By | Monday February 13, 2012 @ 4:47pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Here we go again — the Parents Television Council, which waged a campaign against MTV’s racy drama Skins last year, has another new MTV scripted series in its cross hairs, comedy I Just Want My Pants Back. “While the show is only rated TV-14, content has already included the prelude to a sexual foursome and a woman asking a man to insert his finger into her rectum during intercourse,” the PTC noted. Like it did with Skins, the PTC is reaching out to Pants‘ sponsors, including Dr. Pepper, T-Mobile and Toyota, asking them not to support the new show over its risque content. “Once again MTV is taking HBO-style content and marketing it to a Nickelodeon-age audience,” PTC president Tim Winter said. PTC has also contacted the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, objecting to its granting Pants a TV-14 rating. But while Skins aired at 10 PM, Pants is scheduled at 11 PM and as comedy, most of its sexual content is for humorous effect. (As one commenter pointed out, MTV rebroadcasts Pants during the day, something it didn’t do with Skins, but the version that airs before 11 PM is edited, with the inappropriate content taken out.) Plus, Skins’ most vulnerable spot was the fact that some actors involved in sex scenes were underage. The youngest actor on Pants is 25-year-old. Despite PTC’s campaign against Skins, MTV stuck with the show throughout its freshman run but canceled it … Read More »

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PTC Vs. ‘Playboy Club’: Who’s Winning?

By | Friday September 16, 2011 @ 2:32pm PDT

It’s always a bit of a risk when watchdog groups like the Parents Television Council go public with criticism of whatever it is that’s gotten their goat — or, in the PTC’s case, their bunny. In effect, going public makes it public, and therefore keeps the conversation going about something you don’t want to talk about. Case in point: Tim Winter’s group has been on NBC’s new series The Playboy Club from the start for its direct reference to the 1960s clubs that were spun off from Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine. There’s been calls to boycott advertisers, kudos for the decision by a Salt Lake City affiliate not to air the show, and general anger at NBC and parent Comcast attempting in the PTC’s view to “mainstream pornography.”

Now today comes the latest “hey look at this don’t watch this” in the form of a press release ripping the show’s tie-in with Playboy that has series star Laura Benanti posing on this week’s cover — timed to the series premiere Monday night — and is priced at 60 cents, the same as it was during the era in which the NBC show is set. The PTC says NBC is being hypocritical by insisting that the series isn’t about the nudity aspect of Playboy, but rather about the times in which the clubs thrived — and the group certainly has … Read More »

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Parents Television Council Slams Comcast Over Nudity Clause In ‘Playboy’ Contracts

By | Friday April 1, 2011 @ 5:56pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The Parents Television Council has put a second broadcast pilot in its cross-hairs this season. After blasting ABC over the working title of its dramedy pilot Good Christian Bitches, now the TV watchdog is attacking the NBC drama pilot The Playboy Club over the nudity clause in the actors’ contracts.

Interestingly, PTC is going after the newly merged NBCUniversal, whose network NBC commissioned the pilot, not after the pilot’s producing studio 20th Century Fox TV, whose business affairs department inserted the controversial language. “During last year’s public comment period for the Comcast/NBC merger, the PTC called on the FCC to force Comcast to stipulate … Read More »

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Six Degrees Of ‘Skins’, ‘NYPD Blue’ & PTC: Behind MTV Series’ “Porn” Controversy

Nellie Andreeva

Last Monday was supposed to be a big day for Liz Gateley. As SVP series development at MTV, she had spent the past two and a half years working on a passion project – bringing the raunchy British series Skins to MTV. She pursued the rights to the original series relentlessly for almost 2 years, having originally been turned down by the show’s co-creator Bryan Elsley, before ultimately landing the project, which was quickly picked up to pilot and then to series by MTV president of programming Tony DiSanto. But the two left MTV on Dec. 31, just 2 weeks before Skins‘ debut, to launch their own company. And, after a brief moment of celebration at MTV when the solid premiere ratings for Skins came in last Tuesday, a controversy  erupted. To stay true to the original series, Elsley insisted on casting teens with no acting background of the same age as the characters they portray, resulting in a cast aged 15-19. Some actors’ status as minors led to the Parents Television Council’s call to the Feds to investigate the show for possibly violating U.S. child pornography laws. In hindsight, some MTV execs now regret the decision to hire underage actors, sources said. When PTC targeted the racy GQ photo shoot featuring the stars of Fox’s Glee in suggestive poses, the child pornography accusations didn’t hold water because, despite portraying high-school students, the actors on the show are … Read More »

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