Parents Television Council Lists 5 Reforms the Entertainment Industry Could Make to Protect Children From Obscenity on TV

The Netflix cartoon Big Mouth, featuring teenagers confused by newfound puberty, is one of several shows harmful to children, the Parents Television Council said. Netflix video cover

Protecting children from obscenity on television has never been more difficult than in 2019, the Parents Television Council (PTC) said in listing the top five reforms the entertainment industry needs to make this year.

“Even with the most diligent parental oversight, the industry has exceptional power and leverage to influence our children,” the PTC said. “But while the industry continues to produce and distribute entertainment content, it continues to wave off any responsibility for harmful effects that content can have on children.

“That is the very height of corporate malfeasance and hypocrisy,” the PTC said in its list released at w2.parentstv.org/blog/.

The PTC implores the entertainment industry to:

1. Prevent inaccurate marketing to children by establishing “accurate, consistent and transparent” content ratings systems with public accountability.

“The current ratings systems are none of those things,” the PTC said. “Our own research, along with outside research, shows how these ratings systems allow kids to have access to some of the most violent and sexually explicit media content available.”

2. Stop marketing harmful content to children on streaming services such as Netflix.

Competition among streaming services is pushing such established outlets as Netflix to expand its lineup with little consideration of child safety, PTC warns.

The PTC described as “proven to be harmful to children” the Netflix suicide drama “13 Reasons Why”; the cartoon “Big Mouth” that “grotesquely sexualizes children,” and the film “Desire,” which the PTC said “borders on child pornography.”

Netflix callously markets such programs to children through its on demand streaming platform, the PTC asserts, with no regard for child safety.

3. Offer an “al a carte” Cable TV service instead of company-selected bundle plans.

Allowing families to choose which channels they subscribe to on Cable TV, instead of offering pre-packaged bundles, would allow families another tool in avoiding unsavory content, the PTC said.

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Source: Baptist Press