One Kids TV group representing commercial and noncommercial producers/distributors was highly critical of the Parents Television Council study, released Thursday, that purported to show that kids TV was awash in violence, cussing, and sexuality (see item elswhere on broadcastingcable.com).
"There is always room for improvement of children’s TV," David Kleeman, of the American Center for Children and Media, told B&C. "Dialogue, however, begins with authentic research and insightful analysis, not blindered studies rigged to confirm pre-conceived values."
Kleeman describes the center as an "executive roundtable" of commercial and noncommercial kids TV producers and distributors that, among other things, "coordinates a response "when the industry has to speak out against attacks or inaccuracies."
The group clearly saw inaccuracies: "The Parents Television Council report on children’s TV is truly stunning," Kleeman told B&C. "Its methodology might best be analogized to an episode from the sitcom Third Rock from the Sun, in which the character Harry runs a video store. Asked by confused customers about his cataloging system, he points and says, “Things I liked, things I didn’t like, things I haven’t seen.
"The PTC created a review system that isolates – totally out of context – any word or behavior that falls outside its narrow boundaries of good taste. Their laundry list of “problematic behaviors” and taboos involving “social institutions” (friendship?) is so constricting that any show meeting their Puritan standards would be devoid of drama or humor."
Board members of Kleeman's group include Disney, Cartoon Network (both of which were singled out in the PTC survey), Nickelodeon, Discovery Kids, PBS, and Sesame Workshop.