So You Think You Can Rate a TV Show?
Brought to you by the Parents Television
Do NOT push play if you don't want to see the explicit video!!!
Rating: TV-14 LV
“I'm a sex offender. I love offensive sex. I offend people with the sex I have.
That's who I am, and that's who I'll always be."
Wouldn’t you think that a television episode containing the above dialogue
should have an “S” descriptor in its rating indicating sexual content, or at
least a “D” descriptor indicating suggestive dialogue?
If so, you’d be wrong – at least according to Fox.
The November 18th episode of Fox’s vile American Dad, airing
at 9:00 p.m. ET (that’s 8:00 p.m. for viewers in the middle of the country),
featured multiple “humorous” references to child molestation, as well as other
sexual innuendo. Yet nobody at Fox thought that such a storyline required “sex”
or “suggestive dialogue” descriptors.
Of course, if the episode did have appropriate descriptors, the V-Chip
would work, and children (under 14) would be prevented from seeing the program.
Fox would actually be acting like a responsible user of the public airwaves --
and Fox wouldn’t want that, now would they?
Here are some more
examples from this apparently sex-free episode:
Randy: "Hi. Sorry to disturb you. My name’s Randy. I just moved in with my mom
down the street…I was recently released from prison. And the law requires me to
tell everyone within a 2 mile radius that I'm a registered sex offender…I used
to work over at the water park, where I molested a TON of kids! But now
I'm out now, so we'll see what happens."
Randy sees Stan’s son Steve lying on the couch in his underwear. Randy’s eyes
bulge and he grins.
Randy: "So smooth! Can I come in? I would very much like to come in. I would
like to be in your home."
At a water park named “Wet, Young
and Wild,” Randy attempts to seduce Steve and his friends. Randy is shown
walking in a skimpy bathing suit with lollypops sticking out of it (the idea
being that the boys would have to touch his groin to get more
Randy: "Hey, do you kids sometimes kiss your pillow and pretend it’s one of the
boy: "Uh, no."
Randy: "Me neither! How’d you boys like to see the old mattress in my secret spy
lair behind the waterfall?”
Randy: "See? Isn't playing Popcorn fun?..I'm the salt! All kernels have to
wrestle me to get salted!"
boy: “Goodbye, sweet virtue!”
Randy: "No. Look, I'm a sex offender. I love offensive sex. I offend people with
the sex I have. That's who I am and that's who I'll always be."
Stan: "My God, boys! We can all take a page from Randy the Molester's
book! He's comfortable with who he is!”
Steve hugs his father. Randy rubs his hands gleefully and whispers, “Yeah!
The entire TV
ratings system, as it is presently administered, is a pathetic joke. The seamy
sex talk and crass humor on American Dad is comparable to that found on
such cable mainstays as Comedy Central’s South Park. But while South
Park is generally rated TV-MA and shown at 10:00 p.m. ET, Fox thinks that
such programming is suitable for 14-year-olds…or even younger viewers, given the
network’s reluctance to accurately rate its shows.
Only when TV
ratings are assigned in a transparent manner, by an impartial outside
organization – not by the networks, who benefit from misrating their own
programs -- will the ratings system be legitimate, and the V-Chip a useful tool
worthy of the respect the entertainment industry gives it.
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,