PTC Warns MTV Over Explicit VMAs Content - Broadcasting & Cable

PTC Warns MTV Over Explicit VMAs Content

Group’s president writes MTV to rate show appropriately in wake of last year’s controversy
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The Parents Television Council has written to MTV, asking the network not to have a repeat of last year’s Video Music Awards, which came under fire for a performance from Robin Thicke and Miley Cryus that was deemed too explicit by some viewers.

In a letter addressed to Janet Borelli, senior VP of standards and practices at MTV Networks/Viacom Media Networks, PTC president Tim Winter asked MTV to “commit publicly that the program will not contain the type of explicit sexual content present in last year’s show.”

Winter also took MTV to task for giving the show a TV-14 rating, arguing that its “adult-oriented performances” and advertiser spots should results in a TV-MA rating.

“While last year’s Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance garnered most of the headlines after the fact, the sexually charged and otherwise inappropriate content of the show was not limited to them,” wrote Winter. “Even more troubling was the fact that MTV still applied a TV-14 rating to the program, despite other adult-oriented performances and advertising messages.”

The MTV VMAs are scheduled to air Sunday, Aug. 24.

Winter’s full letter to Borelli is below:

“Parents and families around the country have had ample reason to be concerned about the material distributed and promoted by MTV over the years, particularly during MTV’s original programming.

“While last year’s Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance garnered most of the headlines after the fact, the sexually charged and otherwise inappropriate content of the show was not limited to them. Even more troubling was the fact that MTV still applied a TV-14 rating to the program, despite other adult-oriented performances and advertising messages. Such a rating was simply unacceptable to the families who depend on the television ratings system to be applied accurately and to the millions of families whose children are marketed to by MTV. The 2013 VMAs were a public relations kerfuffle for your network that I feel certain you will not wish to repeat.

“Consequently, on behalf of our membership and millions of other concerned parents, I call on MTV to take the following proactive steps, prior to the upcoming Video Music Awards telecast:

  1.  “Commit publicly that the program will not contain the type of explicit sexual content present in last year’s show

  2.  “Commit publicly that the program will not violate MTV/Viacom’s own standards and practices as was alleged last year

  3.  “Commit publicly to rate the program accurately and in accordance with the TV Parental Guidelines which stipulate that crude indecent language, explicit sexual activity, or graphic violence is to be rated as appropriate only for adults - TV-MA.

“I eagerly await your prompt reply, and sincerely hope MTV will help parents and families to better navigate their children’s media environment.”

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