Graphic violence, profanity and sex overflow on television shows based on children’s comic books, the Parents Television Council (PTC) found in its latest study.
PTC President Tim Winter called out The CW network as the most egregious for its shows “Arrow,” “Black Lightning,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” and “Riverdale,” and urged the network to make the shows more child-friendly.
“The PTC has documented graphic, adult-themed content that is appearing in The CW programming based on historically child-friendly franchises,” Winter said Aug. 4. “Network programming executives — and the creative community in Hollywood — must remember that these programs were built on the backs of children and on the wallets of their parents.
“Those same executives know that these programs are inherently attractive to kids,” Winter said, “and they know kids are watching.”
The PTC study “Not for Kids Anymore” reports 6,000 incidents of violence, more than 500 deaths and nearly 2,000 profanities in seven years of prime-time shows based on comic books. The study monitored “sweeps” periods in November, February and May from November, 2012–May, 2019.
“It is no longer in serious dispute that children are influenced by the media they consume. Children learn by observing, imitating, and adopting behaviors, including those seen in entertainment,” the PTC said in the report’s introduction, citing corroborating findings from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Among children, prolonged exposure to media violence leads to an increased acceptance of violence as an appropriate means of solving problems and achieving goals, the PTC said. Such exposure leads to higher levels of aggression as children age, and higher levels of physical and mental health problems including bullying, fear, depression, nightmares and sleep disturbances, the study said, citing the AAP and APA.
“Compelling and entertaining stories — and even adult-themed stories — can be told without resorting to the crutch of graphic sex, violence and profanity,” Winters said. “For decades, child-friendly franchises were huge commercial successes without explicit content. They can be just as successful today without that explicit content.”
The PTC released its findings as networks prepare to feature their programs at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, ending Aug. 8.
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Source: Baptist Press