Written by PTC | Published June 14, 2022
LOS ANGELES (June 14, 2022) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) expressed support for the entertainment industry’s gun safety pledge to “incorporate gun safety best practices into their shows and to scrutinize the use of firearms in storytelling,” according to Variety.
“Those in the entertainment industry signing this gun safety pledge should be commended for resolving to use their powerful influence in a positive and productive way. On-screen media violence has tremendous influence and can be harmful to viewers, particularly to children. Hollywood has a responsibility to its viewers, and we are glad to see so many making a pledge to reconsider portrayals of gun violence on screen,” said Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television and Media Council.
“Guns and gun violence have played a too significant of a part in Hollywood’s business model. Its norm has been to fuel a culture of gun violence. That’s why this pledge is so noteworthy and should be commended,” Winter said.
“The overwhelming weight of scientific, psychological, and medical research has found that exposure to graphic violence can be harmful to children. We must confront gun violence in the media and Hollywood is finally taking that first step,” added Winter.
Research published in Psychology Today “suggest exposure to violence in the media can increase children’s dangerous behavior around real firearms.”
PTC research conducted following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting found that all gun violence on primetime broadcast television was rated as appropriate for children as young as fourteen, and in some cases, even younger.
PTC research found comic book-themed TV shows with particular appeal to children showed over 6,000 incidents of violence and over 500 deaths. This same study found that The CW’s Arrow was the most violent program with 1,241 acts of violence, including 280 instances of gun violence.
PTC research from 2019 found that there was substantially more violence in youth-rated shows than in the previous ten years, but that increase had not changed the age-based content ratings the networks apply. Programs rated TV-PG contained on average 28% more violence in 2017-18 than in 2007-08. Violence on PG-rated shows included use of guns and bladed weapons, depictions of fighting, blood and death and scenes of decapitation or dismemberment.