PTC: Time for Hollywood to Lead on Reducing Media Violence

The Parents Television Council has called on Hollywood to reduce its depictions of graphic violence in the wake of the latest two mass shootings. By contrast, President Trump has been focused on video games and social media as potential causal links, or at least accessories before the fact.

That PTC call for kinder, gentler comic book TV came as TV programmers were showing off their wares at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Los Angeles.

Related: PTC Pans Comic Book-Themed TV Shows

PTC President Tim Winter pointed out that during a TCA session over the weekend, CW president Mark Pedowitz responded to PTC's call to tone down TV violence in its comic book themed shows, a genre generally thought of as kid-friendly. Pedowitz reportedly responded that CW was "very cognizant" of the level of violence in their shows and had asked its programmers to tone it down if they thought plots were going too far.

But PTC argues that horse's head is already out of the barn, as it were, and that it is time for everybody to get together, and share the responsibility as well as the weight of doing something about it.

“While law enforcement dives deeply into the investigative work to understand what led to such wretched carnage in El Paso and Dayton, the nation returns to its all-too-familiar debate about guns, mental health and media violence," he said. "Hollywood points at the NRA for its powerful opposition to legislative remedies on firearms. The NRA points at Hollywood for its ubiquitous and romanticized gun violence in entertainment. Both sides point to mental health concerns. But here is something we probably don’t hear very often: Both sides have a valid point; and both sides also share culpability."

Winter called on Pedowitz to take the lead and reduce the violence and explicit content on his network.

President Trump called Tuesday (Aug. 5) for a reduction in video game violence and for shining a light on the dark side of social media. 

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.