Earlier this month, the PTC released the study Cartoons Are No Laughing
Matter: Sex, Drugs, and Profanity on Primetime Animated Programs. And, of
course, we received hefty criticism from fans of the shows that were singled out
in the study. Many of the comments left on message boards only confirmed the
notion that these shows promote vulgarity and coarseness, but this irony is
completely lost on those commenting. For more proof of the troublesome content
on animated shows, one need only look at the August 28th rerun of
Fox’s Family Guy (Sundays, 9:00 p.m. ET), originally aired on March 6,
2011, which rightfully deserves the title of Worst TV Show of the Week.
Here’s an example of sexual content in that episode:
Bonnie asks Lois for a favor.
Bonnie: “I was hoping that while I was gone you could look in on Suzy and Joe.”
Quagmire: “And go have sex with Quagmire.”
They reject him.
Quagmire: “Ah, shucks, you can’t blame a guy for trying.”
departs, leaving a pornographic magazine, handcuffs, a condom, and a live rat in
In terms of violence, it hardly gets more graphic than this:
After Stewie creates an evil clone of himself, the clone viciously attacks him,
punching him in the face and smashing his head against the ground. The evil
clone then takes out a knife and cuts Brian's tail off, then force-feeds it to
Stewie. Stewie spits the severed tail out and begins vomiting as Brian desperate
tries to re-attach it. Evil Stewie walks out to the middle of the street. A
female motorist stops just shy of hitting him. When she gets out of the car to
check on him, Evil Stewie takes out a sword and slices her body in half.
Let’s not forget the drugs and profanity mentioned in the show:
Bonnie attempts to enter the airport terminal while unbeknownst to her, she’s
carrying a handgun in her bag.
Bonnie: “I don't know how that cocaine got in there.”
Security: “Ma’am, this bag contains a concealed weapon. I'm going to have to
place you under arrest.”
Bonnie: “Oh, my goodness how did that get in there?”
Police: You're going to have to come with us ma’am.”
The PTC’s study was not intended to antagonize Family Guy’s fans, but to
inform parents who may not know that modern-day cartoons have become very
adult-oriented. Moreover, despite the racier content, these animated shows have
still been marketed aggressively to young audiences. The networks know that the
younger the viewer, the more loyal the viewer becomes. And if the rude comments
such viewers leave for us are any indication, some of the fans are fiercely,
crudely, aggressively loyal.
For sexual content, violence, and profanity Family Guy has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.