Groups Say Streamers Are Still Marketing Violence to Kids

A child streams content on his phone while wearing headphones.
(Image credit: Cavan Images via Getty Images)

The Parents Television and Media Council, joined by Fairplay and others, want the Federal Trade Commission to say Hollywood, including streaming services, continues to market violent adult entertainment to children and want the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.

PTC is coming armed with recent research it said found that teen-targeted shows with explicit content is being marketed on social media sites popular with children 13-17.

They have written to FTC chair Lina Khan pointing out that it has been more than two decades since the FTC opened an investigation into the impact of violent entertainment content -- including videos and games -- on kids in the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

Also: PTC Asks Justice to Investigate Netflix

It has also been more than a decade since the FTC last looked into the issue, they said, and it is time to reopen that investigation, citing streaming content that has materialized since those investigations.

"Though much has changed in the intervening 22 years since the FTC first delved into this issue, this much has not changed: Hollywood is still trying to do an end-run around parents, deliberately targeting children and teens in the marketing of their adult-rated entertainment products on the platforms that teens use the most," they told Khan.

They call that an end run around regulators that needs to be blocked, saying Hollywood efforts at self-regulation.

"On behalf of the PTC’s 1.5 million members, I am asking you to once again open an investigation into the marketing of adult content to children," said Melissa Henson, VP of programs for PTC. ■

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.