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.