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 though it already was MA I mean really how did it get 14??? crazy… a bump = not a big deal

  2. Almost every show that airs on FX is TVMA and those shows do pretty well in the ratings so I don’t think AMC has anything to worry about as far as viewers are concerned..
    I just wonder how or if it will affect advertising?? That’s what matters the most here folks. If there’s companies that won’t buy time for TVMA shows AMC won’t be changing the rating anytime soon…

      • I totally agree! I love the show, my wife and I watch it Sunday night with regular dinner guests, But there is NO WAY I would let my 14 year old watch it with us. Leave the rating where it is so they don’t feel the obligation add more gratutous language and sex and rely on parents to be smart enough to know how to raise our kids.

        • being a 15 year old girl…would you not let your daughter watch it because of the violence or just not watch it “with” you.

          your not giving your daughter enough credit. of course it is totally a parental decision (better be more cautious then not) but if gore isn’t your daughters thing…then she shouldn’t watch it

          what im saying is im 15 and i think 14 is fine. 14 is passed the age where you get all wierd and freaky about those kinds of things

    • I am 17 and my 13 year old brother and I love the show. I think the rating should stick to TV-14 and the parent should decide if their child is “mature” enough for the show. I fear if the rating is up to TV-MA, AMC will feel the need to start filling the show with more material my parents do not want us viewing, such as more vulgar language and possible explicit sex scenes, such as that of an HBO show. The TV-14 rating is kind of a buffer of sorts in my opinion.

      • Thats a good point. I was all for the bumping up to TV-MA but then everyone would be talking like Merle. I don’t have a problem with the gore of the show but wouldnt mind them toning it down to keep the 14 rating instead of the showing adding nudity and graphic sex to make full use of the MA rating.

  3. think PTC should just thank their lucky stars that they don’t show half the things they do in the comics.

    • ^ this.

  4. Honestly what difference would it make? It’s not like the cinema where there are people to stop underage viewers going in, if a 14 year old wants to watch TWD then they will, either on TV or on the internet. I don’t see why US TV can’t be like British TV and have a Watershed, the BBC/ITV/Channel 4 and Channel 5 can show as much excessive gore, violence, swearing and nudity as they want after 9pm. Homeland is shown on Channel 4 over here, one of our 5 original analogue channels that is acessable to the entire country. That and the fact that if there are 14 year olds and younger out there that are going to be freaked by zombies and gore then they won’t watch The Walking Dead.

  5. I understand what the PTC is saying, and I do believe that it should be changed to TV-MA but, in the meantime, if the Parents Television Council doesn’t like it they can always put child lock on there televisions, certain channels, or certain shows.

  6. I’m reading this article aloud to my cousin and she thinks that it is way to brutal for anybody younger than 18.

    She is saying this while her six year old is sawing grubs in half with his lancer in Gears of War 3 in the next room (she bought the game for him, fully knowing it’s content and MA rating).

    • your cousin appears to be a littly sissy and should grow a pair.

    • To be fair, cutting a lizard-like alien in half for two seconds is milder than digging around in human innards for an entire ten minute scene.

  7. It’s called parenting. Watch the show, make an informed opinion for ones-self and then tell your kids not to watch it. I know that’s kind of a perfect world solution in a world where there a number of different ways for teen to view the show, but still. Sit down with your children and talk about it. There’s a thousand other channels out there. Watch something else if you don’t like the violence and gore.

  8. Sigh. if parents dont want to have their kids watch this show, then dont allow them to watch it. there doesnt need to be a big deal about the audience viewer age. we have other important stuff in our lives and in this world, then this.

    • Agreed anyone parent that willingly would sit down and let their 14 yrs old watch this show anyway is a bit whacked in the head.

  9. Implying the PTC has any power….

  10. I’ve always been surprised it isn’t TV-MA with all the gore. Not that changing the rating would do anything.

  11. It’s zombies, what do you except. I’m actually 13 years old, and I don’t think it’s that bloody (although I do think they kinda cross the line, espically in this season). Anyways, back to the point, this is a show about survival & zombies and while it is fiction, that’s the whole point about zombies. Whenever you have a zombie-type movie or tv series (example: Zombieland, Dawn of the Dead, Night of the Living Dead), you can’t just it non-bloody, it has to contain it.

    As for the rating, I would mind it being rated TV-MA but it would definitely be a blow to those younger fans who watch the series.

  12. Stop trying to control everyone’s life…you have no right. The parents need to take responsibility, not you

    • It always seems that the ones that have problems with whatever is shown are conservative adults, rarely children or teens. Apparently these adults have lost the ability to tell the difference between fantasy and reality.

  13. Remove all televisions and computers from the home, cancel your cable and internet, keep your children locked in a room with only a bible to read, and ban all forms of imagination. That should keep kids from watching or thinking any evil thoughts.

  14. who cares what the rating is if you dont want your kids to watch it then dont let them

  15. It’s not just Blood and gore, that scene with the Governor and Maggie was pretty heavy stuff. I was surprised seeing this article because I thought it was TV-MA. It’s a great show and the violence adds to it for sure, but I easily understand that not all of this material is suitable for a younger audience

  16. Are you kidding me? It’s a show about ZOMBIES people! what? Did you think there was going to be rainbows and songs of Kumbaya? If they want to bump up the rating, fine! But dumbass parent who let their children watch ANYTHING without viewing it first get what they deserve.

  17. Are you kidding me? It’s a show about ZOMBIES people! what? Did you think there was going to be rainbows and songs of Kumbaya? If they want to bump up the rating, fine! But stupid parents who let their children watch ANYTHING without viewing it first get what they deserve.

  18. Don’t like it? Then how about getting parents to POLICE their kids better and get involved in what they watch rather than impose your narrow-minded perspective on all of us adults.

  19. I really don’t see a point in changing the rating. I would let my kids watch it. My 12 year old brother watches it and loves it and he has autism. So it’s really a big deal. Just let parents deal with it. They can decide for their kids.

  20. Like I said before in a comment that somehow didn’t make it. By the logic of most of you, no show should be rated anything. In other words, all the torture, brutality, sexuality that you find on the internet should be free reign on television.

    If you don’t by that, then your argument “ratings don’t matter” is a failed argument.

    • i have to agree with you.

    • You are 100% right. The line has to be drawn somewhere. A world with no rules is total chaos. People don’t understand that laws and rules can create freedom and order instead of hindering it, unless taken to the extreme.

  21. Parents, block the channel or show if you need to. Know what your kids are watching. Do not allow the rating to decide what your kids watch. Be a parent and dont expect tv and film makers to parent for you. Its as simple as that. I wonder why people even have kids sometimes. They want teachers, babysitters, nannys, etc to do their jobs for them.

  22. So like I said Alpine, all shows should be unrated and every channel should be free to put whatever they want no matter how x rated, snuff or brutal. I am glad you agree with me.

    Some parent’s actually use “ratings block”. Some people seem to forget that home is not a prison and that parents can’t be everywhere at once.

    I for one as a parent of 5 appreciate ACCURATE ratings, so when I set the television blocker, I know that on some off moment of channel surfing my 9 year old looking for Zack & Cody isn’t going to scroll past a woman getting sexually abused or a Zombie getting his head chopped off by a pick ax.

    Seriously folks, rationality and common sense should still apply on message boards.

    So again, until you are against all ratings and open channels for every type of program people demand that is legal, you don’t really have a leg to stand on.

    • It is STILL rated TV-14. Why are you allowing your 9 year old to channel surf around even that rating? And late at night no less when they should by all rights be in bed.

      It’s a show that deals with adult themes involving zombies which invariably involves violence in come manner. You are a parent and your responsibility, not the PTC to do it for you.

  23. why are they picking on Walking Dead? they are movies far way worse. besides if people think it is to violent, then 2 things they can do. 1. shut the TV or 2. change the channel. there are other programs people can watch or if they feel it is to much their children.

  24. I think the only “rational common sense” needed here is that parents should not rely on others to watch their kids. If you have raised your children well then no amount of violence or nudity is going to have any effect other than having your child ask you to explain what they have seen. It seems this is more about parents being unable, unwilling or embarrassed to talk about some things, get over it!

  25. No problem with a tv rating of TV-MA which it should of been rated in the first place or done on another network where censorship isn’t as bad. First I do have to say Parents should take some of the responsibility here in any case. Due to the nature of the show and the content on which it is based, Parents should already know what their child should be watching on television. There is a such thing as parental control on and tv/cable box/ satellite. Don’t get me wrong a parent can’t be around 24/7, but I think it is time for parents to start parenting instead of blaming others for their child’s watching habits. Be mindful of what your child intakes. I notice as the years go on parenting on some occasions is lower then days when I was a kid. This is obviously my personal opinion and does not constitute anything other then that.

  26. The TV-MA rating is reserved for shows with nudity and other graphic sexual content. Since The Walking Dead has little of that, it’s gotten away with a TV-14 rating.

    But each episode has a warning about its blood and gore, isn’t that enough?

    Plus, the PTC once labeled King of the Hill, one of the sweetest shows out there with genuine heart, as a dangerous show.

  27. How is glee harmful to children?

  28. I’m a 13 year old girl and I love this show. My 4 year old nephew sometimes watches it. My sister tries to stop him but he ends up going to his room and closing the door and watching it lol. American Horror story is MA, sex and weird satanic things are that show yet what can you do to stop the show? Parents need to stop blaming the show when there the ones who need to keep an eye on there kids. Js. Nothing will stop me from watching the show when it returns in February.