10:35 PM PDT 7/27/2011 by Lauren Schutte, Chris Godley
NBC's upcoming drama "The Playboy Club" is the latest television series that the Parents Television Council has taken to task for content that the watchdog group feels is too racy for kids. Which other TV shows have gotten the PTC's knickers in a twist?
The Parents Television Council doesn't hold back when it comes to programming it deems objectionable. The group's latest target is NBC's The Playboy Club, a 1960s-set drama that revolves around working-class bunnies (Amber Heard, Jenna Dewan) and the men who love them (Eddie Cibrian). In a letter sent to NBC affiliates around the country this week, the PTC accused NBC and its affils of "glamorizing" and "putting a veneer of sophistication on an industry that exploits women and destroys families." It also says NBC has "completely betrayed the trust of American families." Take a look at the several other recent shows the PTC has objected to -- and why.
Photo by: The CW
In 2008, after the CW released a slightly risqué advertising campaign which featured its show’s stars in erotic poses with the letters “OMFG” (a profane version of the show’s catch-phrase OMG or Oh My God), the PTC reacted. A council representative released a statement saying the PTC “deplores the CW’s deliberate use of profanity and sexual imagery to exploit and further corrupt young viewers.” Not at all deterred, the network took the PTC’s description of the show as “Mind-Blowingly Inappropriate” and used it as a tongue-in-cheek promotion in a new set of ads later that year.
Photo by: MTV
The PTC called for a Federal investigation for possible child pornography and exploitation of MTV’s scripted show Skins (a remake of a U.K. series of the same name) before its January 2011 debut, calling it “the most dangerous show for children that [they] have ever seen.” They also listed 42 depictions and references to drugs and alcohol in the premiere episode alone. While the show was not slapped with any fines, many advertisers left the show amidst the controversy; MTV did not renew it for a second season.
The WB show (staring Katie Holmes, James Van Der Beek, Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson) was dubbed the #1 worst show on television by the PTC after its 1998-99 season. In its scalding synopsis, the Council called the teen drama “sex-soaked” and said it featured an “almost obsessive focus on pre-marital sexual activity…which is treated as inconsequential and without moral context.”
Photo by: Comedy Central
In 2008, the organization dubbed an episode of the Comedy Central show that parodied Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull the “Worst Cable TV Show of the Week.” The episode in question showed directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg raping Indiana Jones repeatedly.
Photo by: MTV
MTV’s reality show about seven strangers living under one roof has always pushed buttons, but the PTC took exceptional umbrage with the show’s 16th season, set in Austin, TX. The because of the show’s celebration of “drunkenness and debauchery” the group provided contact information for all of the show’s sponsors, who it said were directly responsible for the “raunchy programming poisoning the minds of impressionable children.”
Good Christian Belles
The ABC show became a target of the PTC in its pilot form before the network even picked it up for a full season because of its original title Good Christian Bitches. “ABC’s decision is not only an affront to women, it blatantly attacks the world’s largest faith,” the org.’s president Tim Winter said in a statement in March of 2011. The network, which picked up the show for a full season in May, eventually renamed it Good Christian Belles.
Photo by: FOX
“Should a Sunday night cartoon show YOUR children bestiality, gay orgies and babies eating sperm?” proclaimed the opening line of the PTC’s 2010 campaign urging its members to file an indecency complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. The group took issue with a March 8, 2010 episode of the Fox show, created by Seth MacFarlane, who said having a complaint from the PTC was “like getting hate mail from Hitler.”
Photo by: FOX
The PTC was yet again up in arms after a March 2011 episode of Glee which had Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow discussing the pros and cons of making a sex tape. Dan Isett, the group’s director of public policy told The Hollywood Reporter that the scenes he saw were “pretty appalling.” He went on to condemn the Fox show saying it was “based on making sexual content look cool.”
Photo by: NBC
The Playboy Club
The latest target of the conservative watchdog group is this yet-to-air NBC show. And while the PTC has admitted they haven’t viewed any part of the show past its promotional commercials, they are still staunchly against the program, urging the network’s affiliates to pull the program from its fall lineup and likening its content to serving as an encourager of “porn addicts.” NBC has countered saying the show’s content “will be consistent with broadcast network standards.”
Photo by: CBS
Shit My Dad Says
The PTC took issue with CBS' comedy not long after the network announced the series pickup at its upfront presentation in May 2010. Their gripe? The title. Said PTC president Tim Winter: "We couldn't imagine that a network would actually name a program either with an expletive or with the expletive ostensibly bleeped out." In October, the PTC sent 300 letters to advertisers, urging them not to sponsor the show "unless they wish to associate their hard-earned brands with excrement." Underwhelming ratings were the reason CBS didn't give the comedy a second season.