Parents Television Council Targets ‘The Walking Dead’ Over TV-14 Rating

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Rick Parents Television Council Targets The Walking Dead Over TV 14 Rating

Since 1995, the conservative advocacy group, Parents Television Council, has been looking out for families’ best interests by submitting complaints and grievances to the FCC when they deem television programs to be harmful to children. The watchdog group unleashes a multitude of media campaigns against TV programs each year and continually pressures advertisers, cable operators and networks to remove what it considers to be inappropriate content.

If you watch any TV, or at least are aware of what’s being broadcast on a nightly basis, then you can only imagine how many programs the PTC is not a fan of. Dexter, Without a Trace, MTV’s Skins and Glee have all been in the group’s crosshairs over the years.

Now we can add AMC’s massive hit series The Walking Dead to that list, as the PTC recently came out against the program for its excessively violent content, saying that the show is inappropriately rated TV-14.  According to Entertainment Weekly, PTC president Tim Winter said in a statement:

“Throughout its run, the AMC program ‘The Walking Dead’ has featured some of the most graphic and brutally intense violence and gore imaginable. In the current season alone the show has depicted hundreds of scenes of grisly murder both of living and ‘undead,’ but human, characters. Clearly, this is content appropriate to an adult-only audience, but AMC has rated every single episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ as suitable for a 14 year old child.”

Along with publicly slamming the program and its rating, the PTC plans to bring the issue to the attention of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board and its chairman, former U.S. Senator Gordon Smith, according to Winter.

Although the watchdog group may seem like nothing more than an annoying nag to fans and even producers of the show,  the good folks at the PTC may have a point on this one.  A good dose of gory violence is unavoidable and even necessary for a show dealing with the zombie apocalypse, but its explicit nature may be too much for young viewers to handle.

Most of the show’s millions of loyal followers love it more for its dramatic survival story and interesting characters than for the gore and most of those viewers are mature adults, so bumping up the rating to TV-MA probably wouldn’t affect the show’s success. Season 3 of The Walking Dead continues to dominate its time slot and smash cable records, so it’s safe to say its not going anywhere, no matter how much disdain the PTC has for it. In fact, we know the show is at least coming back for season 4.

Is The Walking Dead too violent for its TV-14 rating? Sound off in the comments section below and continue to tune in when the show returns to AMC on Sunday, February 9th, 2013 @9pm.

Source: EW

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  1. Sorry, but I have seen PG-13 movies WAY more inappropriate for children than The Walking Dead series. And do these people KNOW the stuff 14 year old kids watch? I’m a 16 year old in high school, trust me, 14 year olds aren’t as “innocent” as they think.

    The TV14 rating is fine. And if you don’t want your kids watching something, don’t let them. And seriously, who is the idiot who thought a show called “The Walking Dead” would be family friendly?

  2. TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board Arent these the same idiots that tried to get Married with Children banned? If they would have shut up and not done a thing Married with Children would have died a horrible death and thanx to these kooks it became one of the best series ever, Now they want to mess with the best show on tv now, how about they stay the hell out of our lives and let us live it the way we want to, I am so tired of other people trying to control my life and I stay out of theirs

    • Great point Brian!

  3. if they want to go after someone it should be 2 and a half men, that little song and dance number a couple of weeks ago never even made the news. now aint that somethin i guess angus was right

  4. The PTA just needs to provide their opinion. Nothing else. They’ve gotten too involved with so much stuff, it’s not even funny anymore. I’m 15, and this is my favorite show on television. I plan on purchasing the new video game when it comes out in March as well. The parents of kids need to make the decision for them, not some unreasonable organization.

  5. I do not agree with The Walking Dead’s new rating. I am currently a 13 year old, soon to be 14, and none of the violence and explicit scenes bother or offend me. My tv has blocks on it, so now with The Walking Dead being TV-MA I can no longer enjoy my favorite show.

    • Exactly! I am currently 13 also & I completely agree.

    • Im 14 and i like the show

  6. Really PTC, you are targeting The Walking Dead? The last time i check Breaking Bad was rated TV-14 also, which features the same type of violence as the walking dead plus strong language, use of drugs, sexual situations, and nudity. Yet you are going after the zombie show because of its violence. It doesn’t make sense.

    • Wow buddy, not to be rude but that comment is clearly uninformed.
      While Breaking Bad did have it’s share of violence over a couple of episodes, it is absolutely NOTHING in comparison to the over-the-top gorefest that Walking Dead presents on every episode.
      How twisted and deluded does the world have to be to even begin to compare a little T&A with somebody getting eviscerated on screen? Which do you think is more damaging the human psyche?

      I do agree though that it is up to the parents to raise their children in such a way that they do not feel compelled to watching such programs, but curiosity can get the better of a person and we can’t watch our young ones 24/7 now can we?

  7. I mean I’m 15 and I do not care whether to shows is TV-14 or TV-MA. As long as there is no nudity I am fine. The show has been TV-14 for almost 3 seasons and it is too good to give up based on what other adults think. Many of my friends watch it and they don’t seem to care either so its not really going to change anything. If a someone who is between the ages of 14-18 cannot handle it then they don’t have to watch it, if anything I don’t think it would change how TWD runs the show away.

    • *anyway

    • Seriously? Another person who feels that seeing nudity, something which is completely natural and harmless towards the human psyche, is worse than watching somebody getting their head exploded? What kind of backwards reality are people living in?
      We were created naked, and nudity is natural, seeing images of human beings being sliced and crushed into pieces is not.
      Wth is wrong with people?

    • I think you missed the point. The point here is that ratings systems exist because YOU cannot be trusted as a adolescent to choose your programming. I don’t think your parents care whether you’re offended or if you think you can handle gratuitous violence or not.

      There’s a reason we don’t let you kids into R-rated movies.

  8. Omg it’s 2013 c’mon guys why make it MA after all these seasons and plus because of the rating change my tv locks itself and also if your so “offended” by it’s violence just IGNORE IT plain and simple and besides its called the walking DEAD nobody said it was supposed to be friendly

  9. I was just looking at Walking Dead website. In just a few minutes I found 2 women that were talking about how they gather their kids on Sundsy to watch the show. One has an eight year old the other a 10 , 7 and 3. They all sit around on Sunday nights and watch.

  10. I was just looking at Walking Dead website. In just a few minutes I found 2 women that were talking about how they gather their kids on Sundsy to watch the show. One has an eight year old the other a 10 , 7 and 3. They all sit around on Sunday nights and watch. I agree that it should be rated pg 13 or PG 14. , but the bottom line is that some parents just don’t want to deal with parenting or they don’t consider tv an important issue. They would rather concentrate on drinking or drugs.

  11. im 33years and im sick to death with all the do gooders i say if u think it not good for kids or your kids dont let them watch it if u dont like it dont watch it u dont have too also i think if the show woz not as it is it would not show how the world would be i mean is not like u would be eating nice foods drinking tea u r fighting for ur life so for the people who think or agree with the bull then do wot it says in the first part of the message DONT WATCH IT THEN!


  12. One more thing in the UK the water shed is 9.00pm and the walking dead is on at 10.00pm i dont know wot the water shed is in the US but dont the young kids go to bed before that because mine do so on that note that should solve the kid problem should it not

  13. I know how much it sucks a rating to go up, but I agree with the tv ratings board on this one guys by the way I LOVE. The walking dead series it is my favorite show. This last season (3) had more graphic scenes than before. Especially when the governor starts shooting all those people. Don’t get me wrong the show is great, the story line plus characters is awesome, but making it TVMA for GRAPHIC VIOLENCE and GORE that’s what’s it’s for. It still had its loving fans me included but I wouldn’t wanna show this to anyone who isn’t MATURE.

  14. My parents won’t let me watch it because my mom walked in right as a guy was being eaten. i agree parents should make the decision. I’m 13 so im waiting for my dad to let me watch braveheart. so i’m saying that i’m going to watch the walking dead when i’m out of the house either way

  15. from what i’ve seen so far, the walking dead’s violence is on a pg-13 level equivalent to that of the animated short film “hulk vs wolverine”.

  16. It doesn’t matter about the rating because i know a lot of people who watches it anyway besides the rating. Parents even goes to the movies with little kids and they see a rated r movie. It just depends on what the parents let them watch. You coud change the rating but not the viewers.

  17. I watch this show with my 16 year old daughter and we watch it for the great story line. We cover our eyes at the really gruesome parts and skip through the rare sexual content. My 12 year old is certainly not allowed to watch and I doubt I would let her watch at 14 either. Tv-ma is probably a more appropriate rating but No matter what I will still watch with my 16 yo.

  18. Obviously TV-MA. This is exactly what the rating system is for – to keep execs from attempting to mislead the public to increase profits. TV-14 is transparently misleading – a ploy to get busy parents to say “OK” to their young kids when a TV-MA would have stopped them

  19. You know its not against the law to throw away your television. Don’t ask other people to monitor what YOUR children watch. Its a guide. If u feel the walking dead is too violent then do not allow YOUR children to watch it. There are plenty of people who enjoy that particular program and would hate to see it go or change because your too lazy to check on YOUR child from time to time

  20. in reply to :
    Robert W. on January 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    “Sorry, but I have seen PG-13 movies WAY more inappropriate for children than The Walking Dead series. And do these people KNOW the stuff 14 year old kids watch? I’m a 16 year old in high school, trust me, 14 year olds aren’t as “innocent” as they think.”

    My kids are 14 & 15 and they ARE NOT allowed to watch this show. A constant diet of violence like this show is the reason why “kids aren’t as innocent” as we’d like! The two scenes I saw were a half-naked woman, bent over a table about to get raped and a woman cutting the head off of another person with a machete. Enough said. This ISN’T for kids to watch!

  21. I agree too, i am 14 and i love seeing the zombies get their heads to smashed in. i have thought about doing this to the neighbors dog just to see what it looks like but i dont know. rick eating the guys throat was boss dude.

    • “I agree too, i am 14 and i love seeing the zombies get their heads to smashed in. i have thought about doing this to the neighbors dog just to see what it looks like but i dont know. rick eating the guys throat was boss dude.”

      The person that said that should go visit a psychiatrist. Hurting an animal is totally out of line. I have no respect for animal abusers.

    • This is really the only example of people who probably are better off not watching this. Not able to realize this is not reality and if these things get acted out the show will get blamed. Parent or people around him need to raise him better but if your mature enough to watch it and your 10 thats is fine with me.

    • You are a fine example of making teens look bad. Wow, did you get your thrills with this dumb comment? You sound like you need ten more years to grow up before watching The Walking Dead. For starters, the ‘boss dude’ as you put it, was called Joe – ‘boss dudes’ belong in video games.

  22. On one hand i understand it. It has quite a lot of gore, but majority of parents mainly don’t want nudity or drug references. Should little kids be watching it is none of my business it is there parents responsibility. A 14 year old could easily watch it as long as he is mature enough to realize the show is fictional. P.s i’m 16

  23. TV-MA is the perfect rating for this show. Parents will let their kids watch it anyways if they think its ok, but given the high level of violence, the initial indication must be TV-MA. Also, I can only agree with what other people wrote here. Nudity and even profanity is much less harming to the psyche of a young teen than this mindnumbing amount of violence. Sadly, most of my fellow Americans are too brainwashed to understand this…think about it!