February 13, 2012
Gordon H. Smith
President and CEO
National Association of Broadcasters
DBA TV Parental
Guidelines Monitoring Board
PO Box 14097
Dear Senator Smith:
In your capacity as Chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines
Monitoring Board, I wish to bring to your attention one of the most grossly
misrated programs we have come across at the Parents Television Council.
In the three
episodes since its premiere on February 2, the MTV program I Just Want My
Pants Back has featured all manner of sexual content including references to
a thumb in the anus, and a prelude to four-way sex:
Woman: Could you do me a favor? Could you stick
your finger in my ass.
Implied Jason sticks his finger in
Jason: How's that working for you.
Woman doesn't appear pleased.
Woman: Could you try your thumb.
Tina: Dude, take the deal, otherwise a handjob
is a man's job, and you can get out at the light and mime a vagina.
Eric: "What did play with us meant?"
Stacey: "I didn't get a scrabble vibe."
Eric: "I got a come juggle all our boy and girl
Stacey: "Me too, but it wasn't that, right? I
mean, that's crazy."
Eric: "Crazy. We'll just tell them we're too swamped with
work. I know you'd never down with
four person sexy times anyway."
Stacey: "Wait, why wouldn't I be into it?"
Eric: "First because you wouldn't and second, you
forget, I've had a threesome."
Stacey: "A three way kiss with chubby girls in
the dorm is not a threesome."
Eric: "Three tongues, babe, three."
Stacey: "Wow, I hate to shock you, but I just
might be into it."
Eric: "So would I."
Stacey: "Ok then."
Then they decide to go to the neighbors that
All three of these episodes were rated TV-14. While there
were content descriptors to alert viewers to sexual content, dialogue and
language, it is simply not credible for MTV and its parent company to assert
this level of graphic sexual content is in any way appropriate for a 14 year old
child. Even more troubling, MTVís head of programming, David Janollari, is on
the record saying the network is targeting children as young as 12 with the
content. Put simply, this program cannot credibly carry the TV-14 rating. Even
if the argument is made that it could, MTVís top management has made clear that
it is marketing this material to children even younger than the prima facie
age-based rating has indicated.
The consistent misrating of I Just Want My Pants Back
constitutes a gross failure of the TV Ratings System, and destroys any
confidence parents can have that using the system will actually assist them in
protecting their children from content that all acknowledge is inappropriate for
them. On behalf of our 1.3 million members, I call on you to act swiftly and
publicly to ensure that this program receives an accurate rating and to exhaust
all available means to review similar programs for related issues.
The Parents Television Council stands ready to assist the
Monitoring Board by lending our expertise through our vast library of programs
and content analysis to help make the system more accurate. The time has come
for the Monitoring Board to step up to its responsibility to the public, so we
look forward to your timely response.