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When It Comes To “Teen Choice” Perhaps Kids Do Know Best


PTC author Christopher Gildemeister has already clearly illustrated how the Teen Choice Awards show is pushing young people to view R-rated movies and television programs that are very clearly not intended for children. Taking a look at the nomination list for these supposedly teen selected awards reveals movies and television shows that even many adults would be offended at viewing.

Making matters worse, during the telecast Miley Cyrus (who typically sets a good example for the millions of young people who follow her every move) comes out dancing in a very abbreviated pair of tight shorts with a team of scantily-clad backup singers. Not too impressive... but when she jumps on top of an ice cream wagon and grabs on to the pole that would usually be supporting a non-existent umbrella, we get a few moves that are just a little too stripperesque.

The director of the program must have recognized the squat around the pole might be an issue, so the selected camera on Miley sticks to a close-up shot in which she drops mostly out of the frame to do her little move. However, it doesn’t take too much imagination to know what’s happening. (Audience members also posted the dance on YouTube from their cameras, and Miley’s shimmy with the pole is in full view.)

It’s especially sad to see young stars, like 16-year-old Miley Cyrus, who have the potential to have an amazingly positive impact on young people (just take a listen to her very popular hit song "The Climb"), sink to thinking they have to dress and act like strippers in order to promote their careers.

However, the good news is that once the results from fans who voted on their favorite movies, TV shows and stars were tallied, the “winners” for the evening still represented some positive and appropriate choices. For instance, look at the category for best comedy movie. Teens and kids got to pick from a selection of five films that included The Hangover. How this gross-out sex-laden R-rated movie was ever considered is beyond me. Yet the kids instead picked Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as the winner -- and it was the film with the least amount of objectionable content of their five choices.

Films like High School Musical 3 and Twilight dominated other movie categories and the wonderful Pixar movie Up was deemed the best summer comedy.

The television categories also turned up some good choices, like Hannah Montana winning best comedy, American Idol taking the competitive reality format and SpongeBob SquarePants beating out raunchy competitors like South Park, American Dad and Family Guy for best animated series.

Some categories didn’t fare so well, but these ones really didn’t have any decent choices within the selection. In a final analysis, it appears that if the kids were given the choice of a TV show or movie with reasonable morals and content, they would choose it.

Once again these results are powerful evidence that the entertainment industry is doing its best to shovel indecent material into the lives of our children and teens, but in reality that’s not this highly sought after demographic are looking for. I truly hope these profit motivated CEOs will take a look at what the kids really want and make some better choices in the future.

Rod Gustafson


Besides writing this column for the Parents Television Council, Rod Gustafson authors Parent Previews® - a newspaper and Internet column (published in association with movies.com) that reviews movies from a parent's perspective. He's also the film critic for a major Canadian TV station, various radio stations and serves on the executive of the Alberta Association for Media Awareness. Finally, his most important role is being the father to four wonderful children and husband to his beautiful wife (and co-worker) Donna.

Parenting and the Media by Rod Gustafson

The Parents Television Council - www.parentstv.org

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