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Press Release

April 25, 2007

GE Censors PTC at Annual Shareholder Meeting

Spokesman Interrupted While Asking NBC to Stop Broadcasting Violent, Profane and Sexually Graphic Programming


GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 25, 2007) – The Parents Television Council™ today called on General Electric, NBC’s parent company, to stop producing, promoting and broadcasting programs that contain some of the most graphic violence, excessive sexual content and foul language on television. The remarks were presented at GE’s annual shareholder meeting today by Dan Isett, PTC’s Director of Corporate and Government Affairs.

Although Mr. Isett was authorized to attend the meeting and was within the time allotted for attendees to speak, his statement was interrupted and his opportunity to conclude his remarks was precluded. Additionally, it appears that GE ceased its live webcast of the meeting at the conclusion of prepared remarks by its Chairman, Jeff Immelt, thus preventing its shareholders around the globe from hearing any negative comments raised during the meeting. The following are excerpts from Mr. Isett’s statement:

“I am here today because NBC consistently promotes and produces programming that contains graphic violence, excessive sexual content and foul language and we think this needs to stop – now.

“NBC understands the powerful responsibility it shoulders for airing inappropriate material, as evidenced by its recent dismissal of Don Imus from MSNBC for his sexist and racist comments on the air.  So clearly you can do the right thing, if and when you want to.  I am here today to urge you to do the right thing more often.

“Violence on television continues unabated despite the overwhelming scientific evidence pointing to a direct and causal relationship between violent entertainment products and aggressive behavior in children.  And according to the recent violence study from the PTC, 56% of all violence on prime time network television during the 2005-2006 season was person-on-person violence.  Sadly, NBC experienced the biggest increase in violent content – 635% - during the 10:00 pm hour, from 2 instances of violence per hour in 1998 to nearly 15 instances of violence per hour in 2005 – 2006.

“But violent content is not the only area in which NBC has clearly failed to abide by any standard of decency.  NBC programming glamorizes sexual behavior without consequences.  And profanity is rampant.  A skit from a December episode of Saturday Night Live featured a song parody highlighting 16 bleeped uses of a vulgar slang term for penis.  We certainly appreciate the bleeping of that word, but NBC made an unedited version of that skit available on its own website, NBC.com, and the unedited version appears to this day on YouTube.  While there is certainly more explicit material on the internet, why would NBC go through the trouble of editing this material for broadcast in an unregulated time slot only to turn around and do an ‘end run’ on parents by making this offensive material available to a much larger audience of children on its own website?

“As you know, each year, every employee of GE – including NBC – is required to sign an integrity policy as a condition of employment, including a promise that he or she will abide by both the spirit and the letter of the law.  Does this not include a commitment to abide by both the spirit and the letter of the broadcast decency law?  I ask this question not rhetorically.  At this very moment, NBC is party to a lawsuit in federal court demanding the right to air the F-word in front of children watching broadcast television.  Ironically, if an NBC employee were to use the type of language from that SNL skit in their work environment, he or she would be reprimanded or possibly even terminated; yet NBC insists on pumping this material into virtually every living room in the country on a nightly basis.  And NBC is forcing the burden of blocking it onto parents.

“Does GE mean what it says in its integrity policy about both the spirit and the letter, or is the policy merely window dressing?  NBC can do better.  Indeed, according to GE’s own policy, NBC must do better.

“Chairman Immelt, GE can and should deliver the scale of a great company to solve big needs around the world and can act as a good citizen by making sure that its impact transcends the bottom line.  Those words should sound familiar to you as they are the GE corporate policy on community.  Please, now more than ever, NBC needs your help; the proud history of NBC demands no less.” 

Mr. Isett’s opportunity to speak was terminated by Mr. Immelt at this point.


To schedule an interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver (ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.

The Parents Television Council™ (www.parentstv.org®) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media. This national grassroots organization has more than 1.3 million members across the United States, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children. The PTC also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.




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