The Parents Television Council is still shaking their heads at the CBS series Stalker and FX’s Sons of Anarchy. The Los Angeles-based organization has around 1.4 million members with about 100,000 donating per year so they do have support.
Entertainment Weekly interviewed the president, Tim Winter, who shared his thoughts on current programs.
When asked what are the best and worst shows on television from a morality standpoint he replied, “Certainly the word “morality” is present with what we do, but we base most of our work on what science says is harmful to kids, and what is certainly offensive to a lot of families. We’re very concerned about Stalker. It’s a show that’s very dark, very graphically explicit.”
As for Sons of Anarchy Winter said, “We understand that (creator) Kurt Sutter has every right to produce that show, and a cable network has every right to air it. At least it’s rated appropriately as TV-MA. But our issue is that we’re forced to pay for it as part of our cable bundle. We went after (Sutter) on that and he seemed to bristle and call us idiots, saying that we didn’t understand what he was trying to do, that he was trying to create a dialogue. There was no effort to create a dialogue.”
So what shows does he recommend? Dancing With The Stars and The Voice.
“Both are very family-friendly. We applaud the advertisers who sponsor those shows. They’re the most-watched shows every week that they’re on if there’s not a big football game. Sons of Anarchy can’t hold a torch to those shows in terms of ratings.”
According to Winter, the Parents Television Council doesn’t want to get your favorite shows off the air.
He said, “Our goal is very seldom to get a show cancelled. What we want is the heat turned down in terms of the content, or for a show to be put on later at night, or to be put in a place where we don’t have to pay for it. We don’t ever go after HBO, or Cinemax, or Showtime. We hear back from the advertisers from time to time, saying, “The network says they’re going to cut out some [explicit] scenes, can we come back into the show?” To me, that’s a real testament to the work that’s being done that edits are being made, content is being toned down. And a lot of it has to do with the advertisers’ pushback.”
He was also asked if there is a show the PTC has protested but later regretted.
Winter replied, “Good question. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that one before in all the interviews I’ve ever done. I would say Jane the Virgin on The CW. We saw the first episode and we were concerned, and we put out a warning saying, “Hey, be careful, parents.” Subsequent episodes has been pleasantly surprising in terms of its relative cleanness and good messaging. We might have jumped a little too quickly on that one based on just the first episode. Just as a matter of policy, we usually don’t publicly comment on shows until we’ve seen three episodes. We’re still kind of watching it to see how it unfolds.”
Whew…that’s one point for Jane the Virgin! The series has been nominated for two Golden Globes after all.[Photo Credit: Twitter]