PTC to MTV: Don't Repeat "Mileygate"

Written by PTC | Published August 18, 2014

Today, PTC president Tim Winter called on MTV not to repeat the mistakes made during the 2013 Video Music Awards. Although much of the media attention was focused on the performance of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke, the explicit content of last year's VMAs was not limited to that instance.

We sincerely hope MTV will act responsibly and take the measures necessary to ensure parents and families have all the information they need to make sound viewing decisions.

In a letter to Janet Borelli, SVP Standards & Practices at MTV Networks/Viacom Media Networks, and copied to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, he wrote the following:

“Parents and families around the country have had ample reason to be concerned about the material distributed and promoted by MTV over the years, particularly during MTV’s original programming. “While last year’s Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke performance garnered most of the headlines after the fact, the sexually charged and otherwise inappropriate content of the show was not limited to them. Even more troubling was the fact that MTV still applied a TV-14 rating to the program, despite other adult-oriented performances and advertising messages. Such a rating was simply unacceptable to the families who depend on the television ratings system to be applied accurately and to the millions of families whose children are marketed to by MTV. The 2013 VMAs were a public relations kerfuffle for your network that I feel certain you will not wish to repeat. “Consequently, on behalf of our membership and millions of other concerned parents, I call on MTV to take the following proactive steps, prior to the upcoming Video Music Awards telecast:
  1. “Commit publicly that the program will not contain the type of explicit sexual content present in last year’s show
  1. “Commit publicly that the program will not violate MTV/Viacom’s own standards and practices as was alleged last year
  1. “Commit publicly to rate the program accurately and in accordance with the TV Parental Guidelines which stipulate that crude indecent language, explicit sexual activity, or graphic violence is to be rated as appropriate only for adults - TV-MA.
“I eagerly await your prompt reply, and sincerely hope MTV will help parents and families to better navigate their children’s media environment.”

You can find Tim's full letter to MTV here. The PTC was firm it its response to last year's episode, and you can read our statement from that time here.

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