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Flashpoint on CBS

Rating: TV-PG DV


Flashpoint, a new crime drama on CBS, follows the lives of members of the Strategic Response Unit as they work through hostage crises, bomb threats, and other sensitive situations. In the episode that aired August 14th at 9:00 p.m. ET, a group of teenage girls follow and torment another teen girl in a mall bathroom.


The teenage girls do more than just bully their classmate. They push her to the ground, savagely beat her, cut off chunks of her hair and throw it in her face. And just when the viewer is led to believe that the bullies may leave the poor girl alone, lying in her own blood and hair, they decide they should shoot her. When the attackers drop their gun, the victim picks it up and shoots one of the bullies. This episode only received a TV-PG DV rating. According to the TV Ratings Board, a PG-rated program “contains material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children [and] moderate violence (V).” That such a graphic and animalistic attack – committed not by adults but by children, on children their own age, and concluding with one child shooting others – was considered “moderate” violence speaks poorly of CBS ratings policies. Especially in the wake of the Columbine shooting, such a scenario would be deeply terrifying to most children. To properly protect young viewers – and to allow the V-Chip to function properly – the episode should have been rated TV-14 DV. By failing to rate their shows adequately, CBS has once again failed parents and children in their viewing audience.


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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