The Parents Television Council has released New Year’s resolutions for Hollywood and Washington that, if acted upon, would better serve families and protect children from harmful media content in 2021.
“Last year, children were increasingly on screens due to the pandemic, and we anticipate this trend will only continue in 2021. That leaves children even more vulnerable to being exposed to explicit content that Hollywood markets to them. Yet there are things that Hollywood companies and Washington can do to better protect children, and we are urging them to resolve to make significant changes this year,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“We sincerely believe that these changes can happen for the betterment of our children and families across the U.S. Hollywood can use its influence for good, and there is no better cause than to invest in and lift up the youngest generations,” Winter said.
Here are the Parents Television Council’s 2021 Resolutions for Hollywood and Washington:
1) Disney: As the majority owner of Hulu, the Disney Corporation must adopt a policy against the sexualization of children, immediately halt production on programs like PEN15, purportedly a coming-of-age series centering on seventh-graders that carries a deliberately provocative title and graphic, sexually-explicit content, and refuse to air programming that glamorizes illegal sex between adults and children. How can Disney’s current course be reconciled with its decades-long brand as a trusted source for safe, family-friendly entertainment?
2) Netflix: The streaming giant’s Board of Directors and shareholders must hold Netflix executives accountable for green-lighting content like Cuties and Big Mouth that sexualize children for entertainment, all of which creates an environment that leaves children vulnerable to – even groomed-for – sexual abuse.
3) Federal Communications Commission: The age-based TV content ratings system has failed the families it was designed to serve, even according to the FCC’s own review. The FCC must pick up where it left off, and push for meaningful reform of the ratings system to benefit families. Streaming media platforms must adopt the same, improved, rating system.
4) U.S. Congress: Families must be given the opportunity to filter out explicit content from streaming media platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. As such, Congress must finally pass an update to the Family Movie Act of 2005.
5) U.S. Department of Justice: The incoming Biden Administration must commit its Justice Department to vigorously enforce obscenity and child pornography laws, and prosecute entertainment companies that sexually exploit children for profit.
6) AT&T: The new executive leadership at AT&T should cease its corporate practice of profiting as a pornographic sewer pipe that delivers explicit, child-themed pornography via its DirecTV and HBO subsidiaries, and in its programming such as Euphoria. Instead, the company should return to its roots as a responsible corporate citizen.
7) Entertainment Industry: Because of social-distancing requirements under COVID, TV and movie production companies were reportedly required to be creative in their approach to on-screen intimacy. We call on the industry to continue – even after social distancing restrictions are lifted – to be more judicious in how they depict intimacy on screen.