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Press Release

August 17, 2009

PTC: “Mad Men” Deserves TV-MA Rating

AMC Rates Graphic Sexual Situations as Appropriate for 14-Year-Olds


LOS ANGELES (August 17, 2009) – The Parents Television Council™ has called out AMC for mis-rating Sunday night’s premiere of “Mad Men,” which contained explicit sexual content.  AMC gave the show a TV-14 (L, S) rating, which means that the company thinks that the episode was appropriate for 14-year-old children.  The basic cable episode contained a shot of a character’s hand going down into the underwear of another character for sexual stimulation, a half-naked woman whose hands covered her breasts just before insinuating that she had sex with another character, and a graphic scene with a prostitute that repeats several times, “I’m gonna cut your dick off and boil it in hog fat.”


“It’s unconscionable that AMC would rate programming like this as being appropriate for 14-year old children.  The graphic sexual content on this episode demands a TV-MA rating, yet broadcasters and cable networks like AMC fear that such a rating would make the program unattractive or untenable for advertisers,” said PTC President Tim Winter.


“This is just the latest example of the inherent problem with the TV content rating system – a system without accuracy, consistency, transparency or accountability.


“Parents and families are tired of being forced to pay for content like this in their basic cable package just to gain access to the channels they do want, like ESPN, Disney Channel, History Channel, Discovery, and the like.  The cable industry must respond to the market demand for unbundled programming.  And if they won’t, then we hope that the Congress will step in to break the industry’s bundling chokehold on consumers.”


With the PTC’s web site, www.HowCableShouldBe.com, visitors can choose the cable networks they want, and then find out how much their cable bill would be if they only subscribed to the networks they wanted.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, 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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