Have you ever been watching TV and seen this icon appear in the corner of your screen?
I’m sure you have as it is one of the most common ratings given to television shows by the Television Industry’s Revised TV Ratings System. However, do you know what it means? According to a study done in 2004 by The Kaiser Family Foundation, over half of our population cannot fully understand television show ratings. If people cannot decipher the advised restrictions of TV programs, are they even necessary? Are television stations taking each rating seriously and going out of their way to advise the public, or are they just following the rules given to them to avoid problems with the law? Do you believe advisories should be displayed more prominently and if so, how?
Click Here to see the ratings and their explanations!
Click Here to read a Maclean's article about the rating system in 1997!
With shows on the air like Two and a Half Men and Nip Tuck, the public is being exposed to more sexual content and profanity. In addition, Lost and Prison Break are examples of more violent and graphically explicit television. Will and Grace is known for stereotyping certain groups of people, especially homosexuals and the Simpsons displays disrespect towards elders. All of these shows are aired between 7-10pm and are available for anyone to watch.
According to Neilson statistics, the top TV shows for 12-17 year-olds in 2005 were: American Idol, Desperate Housewives, The OC, Will and Grace, The Simpsons and One Tree Hill.
Below are television clips veiwed by adolescents in 2005.
The OC -- Airs At 9pm, Rated PG
One Tree Hill -- Airs at 9pm, Rated PG
Will and Grace -- Airs at 9pm, Rated PG
Nip Tuck -- Airs at 10pm Rated PG14
The OC -- Airs at 9pm, Rated PG
Prison Break -- Airs at 8pm, Rated PG
All of the programs mentioned above are from night time television but what about day time soap operas? Shows such as Days of Our Lives, General Hospital and the Young and the Restless contain a huge amount of sex and violence. In just one episode, you can see a romantic sex scene along with someone being murdered. These soap operas run throughout the day and are available for young children to watch. Should there be a law enforced so programming such as these can only air late at night? What would be an ideal time?
Facts to think about!
On December 10th, 2003, Fox failed to bleep the f-word and the s-word during the Billboard Music Awards.
# of 2-11 yr olds Watching = Over 1 million
# of 12-17 yr olds Watching = Over 1 Million
· The average adolescent watches four hours a television a day.
· 44% of kids say they watch TV alone.
· Television alone is responsible for 10% of youth violence. – Leonard Eron, Senior Research Scientist at the University of Michigan
· 90% [of parents] say TV programs are getting worse every year because of bad language and adult themes in shows that air from 8 to 10 p.m.
Three months ago my fourteen-year-old bother bought an R-rated movie without any questions asked from the retailer. What policies do stores have to enforce the rating system? Are stores taking the ratings seriously or are they just looking for business? Whose responsibility is it to protect children from inappropriate content (the parents, the media producers, the government, etc.)?
Artist not available. “Desperate Housewives.” No date. Online image. Desperate Housewives. 25 April 2008. <www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/show>
Artist not available. “Facts and TV statistics.” Parentstv.org. No Date. 25 April 2008. <http://www.parentstv.org/ptc/facts/mediafacts.asp>
Artist not available. “Gay Kiss on TV.” No date. Online image. Will and Grace. 25 April 2008. <www.afterelton.com/TV/2006/12/kissing.html>
Artist not available. “Jack and Phyllis.” No date. Online image. Daytime Television. 25 April 2008. <ettubrute.blogspot.com/2005_06_01_archive.html>
Artist not available. “Nip Tuck Lesbian Scene.” YouTube. No Date. 25 April 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=moNO4mTtFy8>
Artist not available. “One Tree Hill – Leyton Scene.” YouTube. No Date. 25 April 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB-r3fzKoz0>
Artist not available. “Prison Break Trailor.” YouTube. No Date. 25 April 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlCNK-Emevs>
Artist not available. “Ryan/Marissa – Sex Scene.” YouTube. No Date. 25 April 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xB-r3fzKoz0>
Artist not available. “Ryan and Trey steal a Car.” YouTube. No Date. 25 April 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Een9XCPVfIg>
Artist not available. “Special Issues for Teens.” Media Awareness Network. No Date. 25 April 2008. <http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/parents/television/issues_teens_tv.cfm>
Artist not available. “Will and Grace.” YouTube. No Date. 25 April 2008. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYaHHjvuYqk&feature=related>
Artist not available. “World’s Greatest Dad.” No date. Online image. The Simpsons. 25 April 2008. <http://www.allposters.com/-sp/World-s-Greatest-Dad-Posters_i424899_.htm>