December 13, 2012 10:47am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Watchdog Group Blasts Violence on AMC's 'Walking Dead'
After taking aim at Howard Stern and NBC's short-lived The Playboy Club, watchdog group the Parents Television Council has found a new target: AMC's The Walking Dead.
The group, a nonpartisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment, has called on the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to change the zombie drama's TV-14 "misrating," calling out the "hundreds" of scenes of "grisly murder" both of the living and undead featured on the ratings behemoth.
"Throughout its run, the AMC program The Walking Dead has featured some of the most graphic and brutally intense violence and gore imaginable," PTC president Tim Winter said, also taking issue with the show's use of profanity. "The intensely violent content has included depictions of the cleaving of human skulls with a machete, extreme gun violence including graphic depictions of blood and brains splattering after gunshot wounds and the use of a sharpened human bone as a weapon to stab another character."
In a letter to PGMB chairman Gordon Smith, Winter wrote, "Clearly, this is content appropriate to an adult-only audience, but AMC has rated every single episode of The Walking Dead as suitable for a 14-year-old child." He noted that PTC members have written thousands of letters to the cable network urging them to reconsider the rating but getting no response.
"We call on you and the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to immediately take any necessary steps to insure that this program is rated accurately, appropriately and for the audience for which the show is designed," he wrote. "For the TV Ratings system to work as it is designed, the board and you as its chairman can do no less."
The drama, based on the long-running comic series created by Robert Kirkman, has regularly garnered awards-season recognition for executive producer Greg Nicotero's prosthetic makeup and zombie kills. The series took home the Emmy in the category earlier this year.
Do you think the Walking Dead is suitable for 14-year-olds? Hit the comments with your thoughts.