In an interview on Thursday with Breitbart News Daily, Parents Television Council President Tim Winter discussed how the Hollywood “echo chamber” is responsible for pushing increasingly violent and sexualized television programming at families and why adult-oriented cable channels like the FX Network should not be included in basic cable packaging.
“It used to be, when you turned on the TV, you could see something during most times of the day that the family could watch together. And sadly, that just isn’t true anymore,” Winters told Breitbart News Daily host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon.
Winter explained that the racy and esoteric nature of current television programming is the result of programmers operating within a Hollywood “echo chamber” where they are really doing their job to please themselves.
Bannon spoke of how television was long understood to be market driven, yet the programming during times when families now watch is “so edgy, so in your [face],” and “anti-authoritarian.” He asked Winter to explain why it is this way instead of being designed to keep families across America in the viewing audience.
Winter explained, “The folks who run the studios, the folks who produce the content, the folks who program the cable networks, really are a small group of folks who are [well] acquainted with each other, and they mostly like the same thing, and they are able to program the way they want to program for themselves.” Because of this, Winter said, producers do not have to think about how to draw the biggest possible audience.
He pointed out that this poses a problem for families that subscribe to cable “for an array of television programming” like news and sports because channels which would have once been considered pornographic are now lumped in with certain standard news or sports packages.
“If you want to get Fox News, you also have to take and pay for some of these pornographic channels,” he said.
Winter specifically cited the FX Network as a supplier of content that children should be shielded from, but which is contained in basic cable packages instead of being part of upper tier premium channel packages. He said it contains some of “the most violent” and “most sexually explicit content” that the Parents Television Council has ever seen on basic cable.
Bannon and Winter also discussed the placement of sexually-focused commercials in events–like the World Series–that families watch together. Winter advised families to speak up rather than be “overwhelmed” and sit with their hands folded in their laps.
“The most important thing you can do is not be silent,” Winter explained. “You can push back on somebody.”
Winter reminded listeners that the Parents Television Council is there to help with pushing back. He said it isn’t about being “a censor” or “a prude,” but about “letting children be children” without simultaneously having them exposed to things that their parents are trying to shield them from seeing.
You can listen to audio of the entire interview above or here.
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