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Press Release

May 23, 2011


Explicit Billboard Music Awards Performance Prompts PTC Protest 


LOS ANGELES (May 24, 2011) – The Parents Television Council® called on members to contact ABC, Disney and advertisers in response to the explicit content on Sunday night’s “Billboard Music Awards.” The opening act was a performance of the song “S&M” featuring Rihanna and Britney Spears. The program aired from Las Vegas at 7:00 pm Central/Mountain and 8:00 pm Eastern/Pacific on ABC.

“I cannot imagine what would possibly lead the ABC television network to air a profanity-laced, S&M sex show on primetime broadcast television. The overtly sexualized performance by Rihanna and Britney Spears was no accident or mishap, but a deliberate effort to target teens with images and lyrics that that glamorize whips, chains and other sexual fetishes. ‘S&M’ was specifically chosen as the opening number in an 8:00 pm broadcast,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“The song title alone reeks of the adult entertainment industry and last night’s performance wasn’t far from it. Why does a Vegas sex show need primetime TV coverage when children are watching? What happened in Vegas should have stayed in Vegas, as the saying goes. It certainly has no place at 8:00 pm on the publicly-owned broadcast airwaves.

“We are calling on our members to contact ABC-Disney and the show’s advertisers to ask whether the sex show accurately reflects their corporate image. The network and every sponsor must explain to the public why they would associate their hard-earned brand with lyrics like ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.’ Chevrolet, Old Navy and McDonald’s – among several others – will be called publicly to account.
“Let’s not forget, this is the same awards show that included unedited f and s-words during the 2002 and 2003 broadcasts. It has become the centerpiece of the broadcast networks’ ‘fleeting’ expletive court arguments to obliterate the decency law. Neither ABC nor the advertisers can claim surprise.

“After being on a five-year hiatus, we’re hoping the show goes on even longer hiatus. Families deserve better and they will make their voices heard,” Winter concluded.


To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Megan Franko at (703) 859-5054 or Liz Krieger at (703) 683-5004 ext. 120.

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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