So You Think You Can Rate a TV Show?
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Dirty Sexy Money
Rating: TV-PG DS
oral sex with a transsexual be rated PG?
ABC thinks so.
network, which has gone out of its way this fall television season to promote
extreme and unusual sexual content in its programming, rated the October 31st
episode of its new program Dirty Sexy Money -- which contained precisely
that scenario, along with other implied sex – PG, with the “D” and “S”
descriptors thrown in as useless addenda.
In the course of this episode, Patrick – an aspiring senator, who is also
married with two children – sits in a car, with his transsexual lover Carmelita
bending over his crotch. She brings her head up from his waist, having
presumably just given him oral sex. Patrick roars “Yowwwwzah!” while rolling his
eyes and chortling in delight, as the following dialogue ensues:
Patrick: "That was a gold medal performance!…What's the matter, baby?"
Carmelita: "Sometimes, it's just kind of depressing. The only thing intimate
that ever takes place between us happens in hotel rooms and limousines. Never in
Patrick: "Doing what we just did in public is illegal in most states."
Later, further underlining the tawdry nature of their adulterous affair,
Carmelita tells Patrick’s limousine driver, "Tell Patrick the drive-thru window
But the program’s
licentious nature is not limited to transsexual affairs. When Karen goes to her
husband Sebastian to ask him to sign their divorce papers, he answers the door
wearing only a towel. As the camera pans slowly down his body, Karen gazes at
his crotch and stutters:
Karen: "Can you sign these please? They put these sweet little stickies on here
so you know where to put your John Han..HanCOCK!"
Sebastian invites Karen into the house. As he turns the towel slips off,
revealing his naked rear to Karen. After a commercial, Karen and Sebastian are
shown necking post-coitally on his floor, covered in a sheet. Still later,
Karen’s mother Letitia berates Karen for her behavior – and Karen reminds
Letitia of her own adulterous past:
Karen: "He wasn't going to sign otherwise. I had to."
Letitia: "How do you expect to make a fresh start with Freddy if you are
still sleeping with your ex-husband?"
Karen: "He wasn't my ex-husband at the actual time of the coupling. We
were technically still married."
Letitia: "Karen, your behavior -- "
Karen: "Is what it is. Fine. I wouldn't have to go over there and behave
at all if it wasn't for you."
Letitia: "And what does that mean?"
Karen: "Dutch never filed the papers."
Letitia: "And how is that my fault?"
Karen: "Well I'm sure when he was supposed to be filing them, he was in
some hotel doing to you what Sebastian just did to me!"
really think that this kind of programming is acceptable – even desirable – for
children under 14? Does the House of Mouse-owned network truly believe that the
same age group which has made High School Musical a runaway hit is eager
for such material?
By choosing to
misrate its shows, ABC-Disney is ensuring that the V-Chip will be unable to
block it. By arbitrarily and nonsensically underrating their programming, ABC
and the other networks make certain that parents – even those who have locked
out all programming rated for ages 14 and over – are unable to keep their
children from seeing such content. The V-Chip cannot block offensive programs,
because the networks cannot be relied upon to rate their own programs accurately
– as ABC has proven with this episode. As a result, the V-Chip, and the TV
ratings system as a whole, is worthless when it comes to protecting children
from harmful TV content.
If you agree that this program was inadequately
rated, please write to the TV ratings advisory board at
firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know that the TV
ratings once again failed to adequately warn parents about inappropriate
For more information about the TV ratings,