Hey MTV: If Nicki Minaj Performance is Like “Anaconda” Video, the VMAs Must Be Rated TV-MA

Written by PTC | Published August 20, 2014

2014-mtv-vmaToday, Nicki Minaj released the video for her new single “Anaconda,” and she is slated to perform on the VMAs this weekend. The video is described (accurately) in The Wrap like this:
After tons of teasing, an endless stream of racy promo pics and a booty bouncin’ teaser clip, Nicki Minaj finally dropped the music video for her single “Anaconda” on Tuesday night. And it's as explicit as you'd expect. The rapper's buxom backside is front-and-center as she slithers around Drake during a lap dance sequence. She also twerks, slaps a backup dancer's butt and struts around in a pink sports bra and G-string. Yes, the same outfit she unleashed on Instagram.
Of course, this begs the question of what kind of performance will she be giving at the MTV VMAs on Sunday. I think we can probably guess it won’t be appropriate for children and teens. Earlier this week, the PTC challenged MTV to apply their own standards and practices to this year’s Video Music Awards telecast since a former Viacom employee and now PTC Advisory Board member alleged that the company did not do so during last year’s program. Since TV networks rate their own programming, they should do so accurately. Or, at least that’s what the expectation is. It seems like a pretty simple message, right? However, over the years, the PTC and other groups have documented deep flaws in the TV Ratings System. We also called on MTV to simply apply the TV Parental Guidelines as they are written. In fact this is what the entire industry has agreed with the FCC to do. In other words, if the content of the program meets the industry’s own definition of an adult-only show, then it must be rated TV-MA as defined here:
TV-MA Mature Audience Only This program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17. This program may contain one or more of the following: crude indecent language (L), explicit sexual activity (S), or graphic violence (V).
To be absolutely clear, our concern is not with Nicki Minaj. She has every right to perform in whatever way she sits fit. The problem, of course, is what MTV chooses to promote, to market and ultimately to telecast into virtually every living room in the country. MTV has a responsibility to parents and families, not to mention its own shareholders, not to cross the line and to abide by the industry’s own guidelines to rate content accurately. So, MTV has a decision to make. Will it be responsible and curb this type of explicit content? And, moreover, will the network do what it is obligated to do and rate this type of explicit sexual activity accurately? It must, of this will become one more reason why the TV Ratings System must be reformed.

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