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Cashmere Mafia on ABC

Rating: TV-PG DL

By Caroline Schulenburg


A rating of TV-PG DL suggests that parents might not want to their young children to be exposed to some bad language and sexual dialogue, but that the remainder of a given television episode is certainly safe for viewing by older children and other family members. At least, that is the conclusion of the executives responsible for rating TV programs – like the episode of ABC’s new show Cashmere Mafia, which aired on January 16th, 2008 at 10:00 p.m. ET. Apparently, ABC believes that children are mature enough to handle the themes of adultery and promiscuity, as well as the depictions of semi-nude women, that dominated the episode.


In the episode titled “Dangerous Liaisons,” successful businesswoman and hotelier Juliet Draper is trying to make sense of her relationship with her husband, who has recently committed adultery. She gets in touch with a former flame named Bobby, who is anxious for a reunion. Bobby arrives in New York before Juliet has had time to come to terms with her decision to get even with her husband. One night Juliet is able to slip away to Bobby’s hotel room. Soon they are rolling around in bed and pulling each other’s clothes off.


Meanwhile, Zoe Burden is frustrated because junior co-worker Catherine is suddenly being included in major decision-making at her company. Zoe understands Catherine’s sudden ascent when she sees the young woman following their boss into his hotel room on a business trip. Zoe confronts her boss, chastising him for “letting your little head think for your big head,” but also worries that she is insecure in her own sexuality. Ultimately she decides to test her sexual attractiveness by walking into the room where her husband is working on his computer, ripping off her top to reveal that she is not wearing underwear, and attempting to seduce him. Her nude back is seen from behind.


Clearly intended to capture the edgy tone of Sex and the City (as well as some that program’s fans), Cashmere Mafia contains material that is simply too mature for a PG rating. With depictions of women lolling around in lingerie and its many references to sex, this program is without a doubt too racy not to carry an S-descriptor for sexual content. It could even be argued that the program deserves a TV-14 rating. The entertainment industry’s much-touted V-Chip can only function properly and protect children from inappropriate content if programs are accurately rated. ABC’s blatant misrating of this episode surely undermines the industry’s argument that TV ratings obviate the need for FCC enforcement of broadcast decency laws. 


If you agree that this program was inadequately rated, please write to the TV ratings advisory board at tvomb@usa.net and let them know that the TV ratings once again failed to adequately warn parents about inappropriate content.


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

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