Parents Demand Comic-Based TV Shows Tone Down Adult Content

Photo courtesy of Katie Yu/The CW

Parents Demand Comic-Based TV Shows Tone Down Adult Content

By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor

The Parents Television Council called on The CW network to tone down the violence in comic-based TV shows, including ARROW, RIVERDALE and BLACK LIGHTNING.

“The PTC has documented graphic, adult-themed content that is appearing in The CW programming based on historically child-friendly franchises,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “Network programming executives – and the creative community in Hollywood – must remember that these programs were built on the backs of children and on the wallets of their parents.

“Those same executives know that these programs are inherently attractive to kids, and they know kids are watching. Compelling and entertaining stories – and even adult-themed stories – can be told without resorting to the crutch of graphic sex, violence and profanity. For decades, child-friendly franchises were huge commercial successes without explicit content. They can be just as successful today without that explicit content. As The CW showcases its upcoming fare, including NANCY DREW, we urge the network to be considerate of its young audiences and tone down the adult content,” Winter said.

According to the PTC Report:

The most violent program was CW’s ARROW. Young viewers witnessed 1,241 acts of violence, including 310 deaths, 280 instances of gun violence, and 26 scenes of people being tortured. They also heard 492 profanities.

In only eight episodes, CW’s BLACK LIGHTNING featured 19 deaths, 111 profanities, and 212 acts of violence.

The CW series DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW included 77 instances of sexual content, 785 instances of violence (including 67 deaths and 11 scenes of torture), and 368 profanities.

The CW’s series RIVERDALE, based on Archie Comics, featured 78 instances of sexual content, 242 instances of violence, 153 profanities and scenes of casual drug use – especially disturbing, since every main character in the series (including Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica) is a teenager still in high school.

The PTC plea seems especially relevant in light of recent shooting sprees.

“This may be a place where we could find this ahead of time,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“The idea that these video games that dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals,” McCarthy said. “I’ve always felt that it’s a problem for future generations and others. We’ve watched studies show what it does to individuals, and you look at these photos of how it took place, you can see the actions within video games and others.”

In addition to reducing potential attacks, removing violence and other adult content from programming also allows for greater financial success.

Movieguide® releases a report each year to inform the industry of how pro-family and pro-faith movies make bigger bucks at the box office.

According to the 2019 Movieguide® Report to the Entertainment Industry, the percentage of movies with at least some positive Christian, biblical, and/or moral content increased overall from an average of 18.27% in 1991 to an average of 74.91% in 2018.

The report found that these movies with very strong Christian content outperformed movies with non-Christian or anti-Christian content by 2.5 to 1.

Do you think these statistical facts should be ignored?