PTC 'shocked' (shocked!) there's naughty animated TV shows

In what seems like a dispatch from the early days of South Park and Family Guy, the Parents Television Council’s latest target is animated TV shows. The watchdog group says they’ve discovered “shocking” levels of adult content during a study that looked at animated programs on Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Nick at Nite, and Disney Channel.

“We’re not talking about cartoon characters slipping on banana peels and ramming into doors,” wrote PTC President Tim Winter, stunned animation has evolved beyond Tom & Jerry. “Our data demonstrates that today’s norm is profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth.”

That’s right: The average cartoon on Disney Channel contains rape, cocaine, STDs, and crystal meth. Wait, what? We circled back to the PTC on this. (Whether you agree with their politics or not, they’re always really polite.) See their explanation on that point further down in this piece.

Before we delve into Disney, though, let’s inspect another dire bullet point warning in PTC’s release: “There is now more sexual content on these cartoons than violence.”

In order to understand that, you have to get into the PTC mindset: Characters having sex is worse than characters committing violent acts.

The overall point the PTC is making here is that many parents see animated shows on TV and don’t realize they have grown-up content in them that might not be appropriate for their kids. That, actually, is a totally fair point. But the PTC can’t just make that point — instead, it makes the situation sound far more shocking. And that’s annoying.

Now, back to that Disney point: Turns out, the PTC says Disney actually got an “A” grade in its study, despite being cited in their press release about naughty sneak-attack cartoons on cable. In fact, these are the worst specific offenders, according to the PTC:

· Family Guy (Adult Swim) (TV-14)
· The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim) (TV-MA) (The PTC notes, “The study period only contained two episodes of Venture Bros. More episodes may have revealed more content.”)
· American Dad (Adult Swim) (TV-14)
· King of the Hill (Adult Swim) (TV-PG)

So all these shows actually air during the same cartoon block. Which, by the way, is titled Adult Swim, and, incidentally, airs in the late hours. Three of the four most naughty shows are years-old repeats of Fox shows that we’ve known are naughty and that the PTC has protested many times before. And two of them (Family Guy and American Dad) are shows by Seth MacFarlane, who has a long history of fighting with the PTC. (He once famously described their protests as “like getting hate mail from Hitler”). In sum: Western civilization is not quite collapsing. Now you better go outside before TV takes another 22 minutes off your life span

Read more:
Parents Television Council urging NBC affiliates to drop ‘Playboy Club’


Comments (83 total) Add your comment
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  • kari

    What did they expect when cartoons are aired during Adult Swim? If kids are watching Adult Swim then the parents simply are not doing their job. Parents need to be parents, they need to monitor what their children watch.

    • kari

      By the way I don’t watch Disney Channel so I don’t know anything about the naughty stuff the channel is airing.

      • Yellowstone

        Great job Kari reciting the article and passing it off as your own comment

    • 42

      That’s right! Groups like the PTC should be taking less time telling everyone else what they can and can not watch and maybe spend some time with their own kids. Groups like this are the reason why there are ratings systems (TV-14, TV-PG, etc). I’ve got two kids, if I don’t think they should be watching something due to content, I don’t let them watch. I also take the time to explain why and then suggest other things to watch. But I watch TV with them. I don’t let it babysit.

    • anon

      I knew a kid when I was growing up who used to watch Tom and Jerry and then dress up like a mouse and kill cats. I wonder what ever happened to little Jeffery Dahmer?

  • Plump

    I’d actually get cable again if I could see Goofy crank rape on Disney Channel.

  • whatevs

    Listen, I’m not saying I agree with these people, but I get it. Violence is harder to emulate, and most kids (hopefully) don’t have the desire to do something harmful to someone else. Seeing it on a cartoon isn’t really that extra incentive to push someone into doing something violent. Sexual content is a whole different issue.

    • Leithen

      Violence is harder to emulate?


      How is it more palatable to see someone killed than to see someone naked?

    • Maggie

      Do you think teenagers have sex because of TV? They have sex cause they’re teenagers and they have hormones. They know about condoms thank to TV advertising ….

      • Sara

        Of course they have sex because of TV and media. It’s not the hormones or the fact that it feels good.

      • anon

        It is a proven fact that no one had sex ever until they started putting it on TV. Now pregnancy is the greatest epidemic the world has ever seen. We all know that pregnancy kills 100% of all teens and at this rate if people keep getting pregnant the human race isn’t going to be extinct by 2025.

    • ger

      Yes, violence is hard to emulate. There’s absolutely no violence in this world outside of cartoons.

    • Captain

      Violence is harder to emulate than sex? Since when? I’m pretty sure it’s easier to kick someone than to rape them.

      • Mark

        I remember when I was a kid after watchin power rangers, we’d go play it and fight and kick each other and throw bats to make the pretend monsters grow. One of mu friends wasn’t een allowed to watch said show cause he destroyed too much stuff in his house afterwards. Definitely not hard to copy.

    • Vince from NYC

      I never got that. So when I was twelve, it would be easier for me to get laid than hit somebody with a bay or rock? Wow your an idiot. I really don’t get these parents. They rather expose their kids to violence. Answe me this.. Would you rather your child grow up and one day have sex or one day commit murder?

      • Vince from NYC

        *hit someone with a bat*

      • Kristen

        I think what they mean is that some kids my have more reservations about murdering someone than having sex, especially teenagers today, and that is because sex seems more common and like less of a bad thing because of the way it’s portrayed on TV. It’s not just about TV, but it does play some part in it.

      • whatevs

        Thanks, Kristen. That’s what I meant to say, but I guess people stopped reading my comment after the comma.

    • Dave

      Uhh, violence is hard to emulate? I can go outside right now and punch the first person I see. Not very hard.

  • BHM1304

    They obviously completely missed “Ugly Americans” and “Archer”;) These inbred PTC folks can just die.

    • Amanda

      Seriously, I figured this post was about Archer. That show is Ah-MAZ-ing!

      • Kurt Russell

        Archer was the first theing to come to my mind. Of course, Archer is so demented and over sexed(but that’s the point) that is all I ever think about.

    • JLC

      Yep, wait ’till they get a load of Archer.

    • Quirky

      As a huge Archer fan, I’m actually insulted it wasn’t mentioned by the PTC. It could use all the publicity it can get, good or bad.

    • 42

      Archer. Best. Show. EVER!!! I don’t let my kids watch it because that would put me in the DANGER ZONE!!!

  • dlauthor

    Yes, we here at the PTC are watching vigilantly for bad terrible sex at 11:30 at night that might corrupt your insomniac children while you sleep and oh crap I just ran out of hand lotion, can someone hit pause until I get some more?

    Also, when we’re not calling for censorship, don’t miss our constant cries for smaller government!

  • Leithen

    Um…it’s ADULT Swim.

    What didn’t they get about that?

    • Gina

      Naughty stuff on Disney! That’ funny! If they weren’t looking for “naughty” shows how’d they find them? Those people crack me up!

  • TR

    I wonder what they’d think or Archer?
    It’s a funny spy-spoof…not always tasteful, but I guess that’s the point.

    • Tajah

      If they saw Archer, I think their (PTC) small brains would explode. Damn good TV, in my opinion.

      • TR

        You may disagree with them, but saying they have “small brains” isn’t called for.

        Just trying to keep dialog civil.

      • Les Moor

        TR, I think what Tajah meant by small brains is the exclusionary world view the PTC has comprises opinions made up of smaller groups of people e.g. white, middle class, Christians. Small thinking, not physically small brains. Completely civil, and completely vile way of viewing the world.

  • Emgee

    The PTC is not interested in having parents be parents. They’re interested in parenting the world, telling EVERYONE what they can and can’t watch. They’ve been doing it for years.

    Newsflash: Kids have PARENTS. Let parents do their jobs and let adults watch programming that is made for adults. When I have kids, they won’t be watching “Family Guy” or “South Park.” I’ll watch them when they’re asleep. But it will be MY job to be a parent, not the PTC.

    • Chris

      Well, most kids have parents – some don’t. But I agree with your point.

      • anon

        The ones that dont are effed anyways.

  • baned0n

    EW, and all media, have no obligation to give this PTC group a voice. They have managed over the years to continue to get their name in the press for some reason. Let them do their own publicity! Stop letting them have it for free, please!

  • Mary

    Don’t all of these shows have warnings of “parental discretion advised”? What’s the problem?

    • Emgee

      The problem is the PTC is a bunch of fascist pigs who think they get to decide what we can and can’t watch as adults.

  • claudenorth

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that PTC is a fake organization created by media moguls as a way of drawing attention to their products through artificial controversies.

    • Kris

      If that’s the case, Skins USA wants their money back.

    • James Hibberd

      OK, that’s funny

  • Jose

    While King of the Hill does have some naughty stuff, its not really as hardcore as the other shows, its kind of tame and tasteful.

  • Darrin

    What the hell is offensive about King of the Hill? That show was tame enough to be showed at 7 pm ET/6pm in the heartland when the episodes first aired on Fox. It is even listed here as TV-PG, so what is so naughty about it?

    • Elf

      Well, Hank used to say “Gosh dang it” quite often, and let’s not forget that that phrase is really just a substitute for “God damn it,” so that’s enough for the anal retentive jesus freaks to scream about.

      • Les Moor

        I wonder if they know what it means when their kids text, “OMG”. Douche bags.

  • DanB2666

    Nevermind that it’s called Adult Swim…the sadder fact is that these people obviously don’t still have a place in their hearts for cartoons (even the adult ones) and all they see is sex and violence…what happened to them as kids to make them this way. Did they get hit with falling anvils or have one to many bombs go off in their faces?

  • Monty

    They reference “profanity-laden storylines involving everything from rape and cocaine to STDs and crystal meth.””…Hmmm…
    I have a feeling that someone at the PTC accidently watched the episode from Southpark last season when Jimmy attended summer camp (his ‘nemesis’ was raped by a shark) and towelee spent half the episode getting Intervention level high on everything from Crystal Meth to computer duster aersol cans.

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