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PTC Will Attend White House Media Violence Hearing, Says Group

According to the Parents Television Council, the White House invited it to participate in Thursday's (March 8) roundtable on violence and the media.

The schedule for Vice President Mike Pence's participation only mentioned members of Congress and the video game industry, but PTC says the White House extended an invitation and it is sending Program Director Melissa Henson.

The roundtable is focused on video games, and the President pointed to violence in those and movies following the Florida school shootings, saying there needed to be a conversation.

But the invitation of PTC could be telling since it has been pushing the White House to include broadcast network content in that conversation about the intersection of real world and media violence.

PTC Pushes White House to Vet Violent Content on Broadcast Networks

“I look forward to representing parents who witness daily how the deck is stacked against them when it comes to all forms of violent media," said Henson. "While the entertainment industry executives will fight to maintain the status quo, it is time that they stop marketing graphic, explicit, and age-inappropriate content to our children."

PTC has long complained to the networks, their advertisers, and sometimes the FCC, about broadcast content it says was either family unfriendly or violated indecency rules.

Following the meeting announcement last week, PTC President Tim Winter said: “As the White House and other leaders work to confront societal gun violence, we hope that they will demand meaningful change from the entertainment industry, which presents dress rehearsals for gun violence on TV, in the movies, and in violent video games.

PTC pointed to its research showing that the majority of programming in the 2017 November sweeps period, which helps determine ad rates going forward, contained violence, and more than a third guns.

“Every single broadcast TV network rate shows with graphic violence and gun violence as appropriate for children – clear evidence that the entertainment industry contributes to marketing a culture of violence to children," said Winter.

John Eggerton
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.