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Press Release

November 23, 2009


PTC Slams ABC for Tasteless “American Music Awards” Broadcast


LOS ANGELES (November 23, 2009) – The Parents Television Council® responded to last night’s broadcast of the “American Music Awards” on ABC calling the show “tasteless” and “vulgar” and asking members to contact ABC, Dick Clark Productions, and the show’s advertisers with complaints. In those areas where the explicit material aired before 10 pm, PTC members are being urged to contact the FCC.

While the costumes and profanity throughout the broadcast were enough to alarm any reasonable parent, the final performance by Adam Lambert of “American Idol” fame included everything from S&M bondage with the singer leading leather-clad male performers around on leashes to another dancer simulating oral sex on Lambert. The show aired live at 8 pm ET/7 pm CT and was given a TV-14 L rating. The oral sex scene was edited out of the West Coast broadcast.

“American teenagers – and especially teenaged girls – are literally under siege by the entertainment media. It is outrageous that children today cannot watch a televised awards program for an industry that is built squarely on their backs. Teens comprise a huge portion of music sales, yet this is how they are treated? It is beyond contemptible,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“Last night’s ‘American Music Awards’ broadcast was nothing short of tasteless and vulgar. Adam Lambert, the second-place finisher in last season’s ‘American Idol’ competition, chose to treat American families to simulated oral sex and other demeaning behavior. ABC and Dick Clark Productions had every reason to know what to expect, as Lambert himself proclaimed that his performance would be ‘very sexy’ and would include leather and chains. But the producers and the network chose to bury their heads in the sand.

“The Parents Television Council is calling on its members in areas where the oral sex scene aired before 10 pm to contact the FCC to complain about last night’s show, which in no way fulfills ABC-affiliated stations’ public interest obligation for free use of the public broadcast airwaves. PTC is also asking its members to contact ABC stations and Dick Clark Productions directly to voice their concerns about the graphic nature of the show.

“In addition, every corporate sponsor of the ‘American Music Awards’ can rest assured that they will hear from the Parents Television Council and its members. Advertisers spend billions of dollars on television every year to influence viewer behavior. Their behavior influence does not cease when the commercial break is over. Every advertiser will be held accountable for underwriting the AMA program’s content, including the simulated oral sex scene,” Winter concluded.



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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