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. I agree in theory but isn’t this nitpicky even for this group.
    Anything you do to censor this show will make it 10 times more popular with everyone who you don’t want watching it. It makes little sense especially since its a private cable network they are dealing with. This will help the show through the taboo factor alone.
    They failed in premise and execution.

  2. The PTC have a point but at the same time like anything “Mature”, It all stands on who is viewing it and if they can handle it.

    Bumping it to TV-MA won’t change anything in terms of views; if anything it might even up it some.

  3. DAMMM Mom;s!!!!!!!

  4. Just make it TV-MA. It won’t affect the ratings in any way.

    Nevertheless, parents won’t stop kids who really want to watch the show. Kids will find other ways to watch it (especially in this day and age).

  5. Are they just NOW complaining? The show has been gory since the first episode. A little late to be complaining, I think.

    • couldn’t agree more. I just googled it s01ep01 premiered on halloween day of 2010 and season 3 is gory but so was season 1 two years ago. get with the times PTC geez..

  6. Normally I would blow off stories like this but considering I actually have a younger brother (who stressed my Mother out by watching this show) I actually find myself agreeing with the PTC on this one. I would agree that bumping it up to MA wouldn’t affect its ratings (much) but at least it’d be acknowledged that this show isn’t for kids.

  7. I would agree, but the PTC just targets overly popular shows. There are plenty of shows on TV rated tv-14 that should be rated tv-ma. Vampire Diaries anyone? The show is very violent for a tv-14 show, but they make no fuss. They’re just targeting high profile shows.

  8. To this date there is not supstantial evidence that suggest allowing your child to watch a show like “The Walking Dead” turns them into sociopathic homicidile maniacs, potential suicide victims, or inflict upon them any other severe mental disturbances. Those things, to this days, are still atributted to real world peer pressures and ultimately parental influences. Theatre, Cinema, and television are clearly a red herring for the real issue.

    • There is a long list of serial killers, monsturous human beings, and horrific human atrosities that pre date televison, let alone theatre and stage productions. Shielding a child’s eyes from the real world does what in the long run. Are “scary movies” the common deminator in all our modern dar psychopaths? No.

      To me the fussing is ridiculous. The Walking Dead is an intelligent, entertaing, and refreshing show that will, if anything, help childs mind mature rather than inundating it with senseless cartoons all day. It’s been suggested and has for more credibility, as far as evidence is concerned, that over sheltering a child can do more harm than good, any ways.

      • And P.s. Sorry for the horrible spelling errors. Time crunch.

        • I’m not going to argue that television makes psychopaths but The Walking Dead has a lot of material (not just violence) that isn’t appropriate for a young mind. Just saying, inundating your brain with all kinds of violent and sexually explicit images as a young child does do things to your mind. Obviously it isn’t as substantial a factor as parenting and peer groups but it’s still a factor, if only a minor one.

  9. Moms just mad Lori deaded

  10. I would say something mean, but its Friday and the weekend is here. So amc just move the rating up 2 TV -MA so the PTC can shut up!!

  11. Like the ratings ever stopped kids from watching and playing this stuff. I played Resident Evil, watched Aliens, and played and watched all sorts of other stuff when I was 6 thanks to my older brothers. My mom tried to stop it, but I always found a way.

    Now I’m murdering my way across America. Thanks, mom.

  12. This show only has a TV14 rating?!
    Wow, I think this might be the first time I actually agree with a decision to up the age restriction… not that it will stop kids from watching anyway :P

  13. Sorry,most video games are even more violent then this show !
    Left for Dead as an example and all the kids are playing it !
    It’s just a show man,if those guys have problems in their lives or no sex live and thats why they are looking for taking away other peoples fun as well ! Narrow minded ! Sorry,but if you don’t like it,don’t watch it,and dont destroy it for others !

  14. Yeah, it should probably be TV-MA… But those soccer mom’s need to get laid…or find a hobby.

    • Are you crazy? That would involve actual parenting. We can’t have that!

      • @TheLostWinchester

        Wait, you mean me and the Wife were actually doing something that was right, but too easy to because it involved actually parenting?

        Holy Crap on a Cracker!

  15. Let’s be real: The Walking Dead is a good show, but every episode has at least one sequence of gore, impalement, decaptitation, mutilation and/or highly-intense life-or-death situations.

    You can defend it all you want by saying “it’s just zombies, it doesn’t count” or “it’s up to parents, not TV networks, to monitor what their children are watching” but dude, seriously, TWD is like the most violent show on primetime cable right now. It should’ve been rated TV-MA from the very first episode, and rating it as such now won’t really change anything.

    It won’t lessen the quality of the show (only AMC’s penny-pinching will do that), and to be honest, the kids that are already watching it will still probably watch it (or secretly watch it if that have to).

    Fans may want to get up-in-arms and cry censorship or unfair targeting, saying “other shows are just as bad but aren’t being pushed for higher ratings”, but those “other shows aren’t nearly as popular, nor as influentual, and thus aren’t being nearly as effective in exposing these hardcore images to young minds. It may not be directly fair, but it makes more sense to target the popular big-shows that are making the most-seen offenses, then it will trickle down to other similarly-contented shows.

    The PTC isn’t asking for censorship in this case, it’s just asking for a more appropriate label for this show’s content, just like when you have a video-game with the exact same level of violence being labelled “Mature” because it’s clearly for a mature audience to begin with. AMC shouldn’t give the show a pass as a TV-14 because the popular concensus is “Americans are already exposed and desenitized to violent images at a young age, therefore they’ve probably already seen this level of gore in some other form of media and thus a typical 14 year-old can handle. the amount of viloence this show will expose them to”. That only works on a case-by-case basis.

    Violent TV shows don’t turn kids into psychopaths or serial killers, so if the PTC or any other group wants to go that extra-mile and say “The Walking Dead is corrupting America’s youth” then I’ll say that is bulls***, but the mature content (both violent and psychological) of this show is the main reason people even watch the show, and it won’t “kill the show” if it is labeled as such. There’s frankly no way of knowing how each and every 14-year-old can handle that show’s content, so if it’s labelled “Mature”, then it will be up to the parents to do further PARENTING and determine weather or not their kid can handle what the show exposes them to.

    And to end this, I also think Family Guy, Breaking Bad, The Vampire Diares, Without A Trace, certain episodes of Law And Order, or even an older show like Undressed should be getting a higher rating than the the TV-14′s they get right now. But hey, if they don’t get fined by the FCC on a regular basis for these shows by now, the networks don’t really care that much.

  16. I am so sick of censorship. Kids can see the worlds most terrible stories simply by opening a News Paper.

  17. @NeptuneRising.

    PTC Avocated for Parental Locks on Cable/Dish Boxes to prevent Children from watching Violent TV Shows.

    Therefore, any ratings for The Walking Dead are set. If the PTC wants to monitor what children watch, then I suggest that they educate the Parents on how to lock out certain channels on their cable boxes, or use the parental controls to restrict certain violent or mature content.

  18. I agree with the assessment that the show is too violent and gory form most kids under 15. I have a 16-year-old and a 12-year-old. The older one loves the show but has to hide her eyes during the more gory scenes. The younger one is totally turned off by the show. However, when I was 12, I couldn’t get enough horror and gore. I remember watching the Exorcist and loving it.

    But I’m no fan of censorship so I don’t want the show to be censored or banned. I don’t mind the TV-MA rating, but I hardly see how it would change anything.

  19. WTF is this bullcrap, since when does changing the ratings for anything stop younger people from watching? The Walking Dead is fantasy for goodness sake get over it.

  20. Get a life already. Stop trying to censor the whole f-ing world! Last time I saw this was still America. It’s called freedom. You have a right to shut the tv off or change the channel… no you know what… why don’t you all just don’t buy a tv and live without one but stop trying to dictate what is right and wrong. Get over it! Aren’t you the parents? Then parent and don’t allow your kids to watch it but don’t ruin such an awesome show for everyone else. You’re worst than Nazis.

  21. The PTC opens their mouths and yet again no cares are given.

    • Really your censoring the F-Word?

  22. Honestly, I agree the show is very graphic and may not be suitable anything under a TV-17 rating, but my issue with the PTC is why bring it up now?

    Is it because the show broke cable television records?
    Honestly, this whole ratings system is ridiculous. Teens are going to watch what they want to watch and the only people that can stop them is their parents. You don’t want your 14-16 year old watching this show, fine, but take responsibility and make sure they dont watch it yourselves.

    This committee is just a bunch of complainers.

    Be that as it may, I myself am surprised at what they have gotten away with on this show

  23. lawl so what if they raise the age restriction they will still watch it anyway so

  24. Why is this an issue? If you’re a responsible parent you should already be monitoring what your kid watches and you should also know that some 14 yr olds can handle gore and violence in film if they know that those actions in the real world would not be tolerated and have consequences.

  25. A bunch of commies and they should just change the channel.