Home Living Today Movies & Television Fantasy-themed TV exposes kids to adult fare, PTC says by Diana Chandler

Fantasy-themed TV exposes kids to adult fare, PTC says by Diana Chandler

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LOS ANGELES (BP) — Fantasy-themed television shows routinely repurpose familiar fairytales into graphic adult fare targeting children, the Parents Television Council (PTC) said in its most recent study.

Shows such as NBC’s “Grimm” and “Emerald City,” and ABC’s “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” repurpose Alice, Dorothy and other beloved characters to yield adult fairy tales while rating them suitable for children as young as 14 and, in some cases, younger, the PTC said.

“When parents think of typically child-friendly franchises like ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ or ‘The Muppets,’ they don’t expect the dark and disturbing content on the new versions that the broadcast networks are now routinely airing during primetime,” PTC President Tim Winter said in an Oct. 3 press conference releasing the findings.

“Now kids who watch these reimagined fantasy and fairytale-themed TV shows are not confronted with Dorothy’s optimistic attitude and ruby red shoes,” Winter said, referencing an inappropriate encounter between a Dorothy-like character and the Tin Man. “As Dorothy said to her dog Toto, ‘we’re not in Kansas anymore;’ but instead of Oz, it looks more like she is in Westeros (the fictional continent for Game of Thrones).”

In the report “We’re Not in Kansas Anymore,” the PTC said it counted 625 profanities, 300 deaths and 1,000 incidents of violence during 141.5 hours of programming. The study spanned 2011-2017, and focused on the traditional “sweeps” rating periods of November, February and May.

“We urge producers and distributors to take more seriously their public interest obligations as broadcast licensees,” Winter said, “and to use their influence to reimagine fantasy-themed primetime broadcast TV shows with children and families in mind.”

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