PTC Urges ABC to Remove Profanity from Show Title

Written by PTC | Published December 6, 2016


The PTC is urging ABC to reconsider using profanity in the title of a TV show in development, “Holy Sh*t.”

“ABC’s primetime programs have become a home for explicit, vulgar, and sexualized language, and this new show’s title is yet more evidence that Disney-owned ABC is going in the wrong direction,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “Beyond whether the vulgar title would run afoul of the broadcast indecency law, it’s absurd that ABC would even consider exposing children to this explicit program title. While parents may steer their family viewing away from the program itself, the title would appear on program guides, marketing materials, and in network promos when families are watching other ABC programming. “Surely, ABC should have learned from experience that using profanity in a show title won’t ensure a program’s financial success. ABC and CBS have each attempted to use profanity in a program title and both attempts resulted in advertiser embargoes, and in only one season of each of those shows. “With ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey saying just last week that ‘in recent history we haven’t paid enough attention to some of the true realities of what life is like for everyday Americans in our dramas,’ we have to wonder why ABC would immediately alienate those families with this show title. “ABC should immediately change the title in order to protect children from this explicit language.” A new PTC study found that ABC had the largest number of instances of profanity and sexualized language said by children, with 81 instances of profanity and 42 instances of sexual dialogue in the period. In part, this is because ABC airs the most programs about families, particularly family-themed situation comedies.

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