PTC: Entertainment Media Must Take Gun Violence Seriously ALL of the Time, Not Just After Mass Shootings

Written by PTC | Published June 2, 2022

LOS ANGELES (June 2, 2022) – The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) called on the entertainment industry to adopt and implement more responsible and consistent media violence warnings, citing last-minute violence warnings Disney+ and Netflix added to its programming and CBS’ cancellation of a season finale after last week’s Uvalde, Texas, school shooting.

Disney+ added a warning card to the first episode of Obi-Wan because the first scene depicts a teacher defending her young students from Storm Troopers and dying from her wounds. Netflix added a warning card to Stranger Things season four because a number of children are shown bloodied and dead. CBS pulled the season finale of FBI because the episode involved the prevention of a school shooting.

“If a warning about violent content is warranted immediately after the slaughter of innocent children in Texas, why isn’t that same warning warranted all of the time? If a television episode is too violent to air after Uvalde, why isn’t it too violent to air before Uvalde? The answer of course comes down to financial greed. Hollywood’s norm is to fuel a culture of gun violence, stepping back only briefly in the wake of real-life tragedy. The notion that varied standards for media violence should depend on the news cycle is simply outrageous,” said Tim Winter, PTC President.

“If Netflix truly mourns the slaughter of innocent children, then why is it asking its viewers to be entertained by disturbing scenes of graphic violence concerning children? If Disney+ continues to promote content featuring gun violence concerning children, should it not at least give that program a more mature content rating? If CBS pulls an episode that triggers real life pain or suffering, should that episode ever be approved for the air?

“Our nation urgently needs – and deserves – entertainment media that recognizes its powerful and profound impact on viewers, especially children, and it should conduct itself accordingly,” Winter concluded.

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