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By Katherine Kuhn


2007 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards on E!

(8:00 p.m. EST)

Rating: TV-PG


On an awards show that did not air live, there should be no surprises for the producers or the viewers, and no chance for an accidental foul word to slip out.  However, on the E! cable network’s September 15th showing of the 2007 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards producers blatantly misrated the show, even though they knew what kind of content was going to air.


There is no “L” descriptor that would indicate to parents the litany of foul language on the program.  This award show was not live like other awards shows; it had been pre-taped and edited for time — yet the producers still chose to leave in many bleeped words like “f-word,” “s-word,” “b*lls,” “d*ck” and “p*ssy.”  There were also un-bleeped words like “hell,” “damn,” and “bastard.”


For example, Carlos Mencia, the host for this show, had this discussion about the sound editor:


Carlos Mencia: “…and a sound editor.  He could cut all the bull [bleeped ‘shit’] out of his own speeches.  I apologize.  I was going to say BS.  I was back there and I asked Elaine Stritch.  I said, ‘Hey should I say BS or should I say the word?’ And she grabbed me by the [bleeped ‘balls’] and told me to ‘be a man you [bleeped “fucking”] [bleeped “pussy”]’.”


And this warrants a TV-PG?  Just to be clear, the words were only bleeped, not blurred, so the viewer could see what words Mencia was actually using. And this wasn’t the only instance of these profanities being used by Mencia (or presenters or award recipients, for that matter).


To further add insult to injury, the award for “Most Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics” went to Saturday Night Live‘s creators for the song “Dick in a Box,” a skit in which Justin Timberlake sang a song about how to wrap a part of the male anatomy in a gift box and then give it to a girlfriend.  The producers of the Creative Emmys decided to show clips of the song, during which Timberlake sings, “One: cut a hole in the box.  Two: put your junk in the box.  Three: make her open the box…” and later Timberlake sings, “It’s my [muted ‘dick’] in a box, my [muted ‘dick’] in a box, girl.  It’s my [bleeped ‘dick’] in a box, my [bleeped ‘dick’] in a box, babe.”


At the bottom of the screen, the song title is displayed: “Dick in a Box.”


Talk about a sexually explicit song.  Not only are there bleeped words, but there is clear sexual dialogue which would warrant the “D” descriptor.


Clearly, the producers of this award show knew what they would be airing, yet they chose not to warn parents of the objectionable content.


And all the while, cable subscribing parents are forced to pay for programs while reckless producers are allowed to constantly and consistently misrate shows.




Also of concern this week was a repeat episode of NCIS entitled “Angel of Death” (originally aired on May 22, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. ET). On its first airing, this episode had a TV-14 descriptor, even though there was some extremely graphic violent content of a drug addict snorting heroin out of the intestines of a corpse.  (Read the PTC’s original press release on this episode here.)


When this episode was rerun on September 18, the rating had changed to TV-14 with the “V” descriptor, and was pushed back to the 10:00 p.m. EST time slot —indicating that CBS recognized that the show was misrated, and that the network now took the necessary steps to warn parents of it’s particularly offensive content. 


Despite the fact that the entertainment industry is in complete control of the TV ratings, concerned families can still have an impact.  Let the TV Ratings Review Board know how you feel about inaccuracies like this by sending an email to tvomb@usa.net .  Working together, we can make a difference and help protect kids from this type of graphic programming.


For more information about the TV ratings, please visit http://www.tvguidelines.org/contact.asp


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