The Parents Television Council (PTC), outraged at the sexual acts displayed at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) has called for Congress to pass the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013 (S. 912).
The act would change the way cable television is packaged and sold to the public. Currently, cable networks are joined with others by cable companies so consumers cannot buy one without buying some or all of them. The bill in question would let consumers pay for only the cable networks they want.
The MTV awards show, which was approved for viewers as young as 14, featured Lady Gaga stripping down to a thong and Miley Cyrus, wearing a flesh-colored bikini, using a foam novelty hand to simulate sexual acts and “twerking” in front of singer Robin Thicke.
PTC Director of Public Policy Dan Isett blistered MTV for marketing “adults-only material to children while falsely manipulating the content rating to make parents think the content was safe for their children.” He added, “How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds? How is it appropriate for 14-year-olds to see a condom commercial and a promo for an R-rated movie during the first commercial break?”
PTC Advisory Board Member and former BET Executive Paul Porter said bluntly, “Heads should roll at MTV.”
But the Television Consumer Freedom Act of 2013, which has been read in the Senate, has not seen the light of day since then. That pleases the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, which argues that the present situation gives consumers “a wider variety of viewing options [and] increased programming diversity.”
Islett concluded, “After MTV’s display last night, it’s time to give control back to consumers.”