Conservative Group Accuses Hollywood of Waging a "War on Women"

Quantrell Colbert /The CW
'The Originals'

The Media Research Center counted 129 violent acts against women on primetime broadcast television in a single week.

At the Grammys, President Barack Obama appeared in a video to speak against domestic violence. Celebrities like Daniel Craig, Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Courteney Cox and myriad others have spoke against what some call an "epidemic" of violence perpetrated against women. Cher and Cybill Shepherd have advanced the notion of a Republican "war on women."

Now, though, a conservative group is trying to brand Hollywood liberals a bunch of hypocrites, and they think they have the data to prove their point: In just one week of primetime television, the broadcast networks showed 129 violent acts against women, including 10 murders, according to a study due Wednesday from the Media Research Center.

The MRC analyzed 56 hours worth of TV dramas airing Feb. 2-8 on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW. Two shows on the latter — The Originals and The 100 — were deemed the worst offenders.

"One young woman in The Originals had her head bashed into a table repeatedly. Another was beaten with a fireplace poker and a third was killed graphically by a witch who made the victim's eyes bleed," reads the MRC study.

"In an episode recap on CW's The 100, a girl is shown strapped to a table screaming while a drill goes through the back of her head. During the episode, young women were shown trapped in cages to be used for medical experiments," according to the report.

Sleepy Hollow on Fox included "nine shocking acts of violence against female characters" and ABC's Agent Carter shows "little girls being trained to kill each other, with one girl snapping another's neck."

Kristine Marsh, the author of the report, calls such television content "the real war on women."

"News outlets criticize the right for alleged attacks on women. In reality, liberal Hollywood is home for incredibly violent and shocking depictions of violence against women," says Marsh.

There have been numerous studies linking TV violence to the real thing and others that claim that it leads to a desensitizing. One from the Annenberg Public Policy Center says that TV violence leads to undue fear among viewers.

"Several medical organizations from the American Medical Association to the American Psychiatric Association consider violence on TV to be an added risk factor for causing actual violence," said MRC vp Dan Gainor. "This isn't groundbreaking, but TV slams viewers with incredible amounts of graphic violence against women without any regard to who might be hurt as a result. It isn't just shocking, it's unconscionable."

Other TV shows mentioned in the report are NCIS, The Mentalist, Jane the Virgin and Scandal.

"Hollywood has made it a priority to remind the public, violence against women is a serious issue," according to the report. "The problem is, it's just lip service. Because Hollywood sells violence against women as entertainment on practically every drama on network television."

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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