Television

Parents' TV Council lambasts sleazy diet on MTV US

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MUMBAI: As the first anniversary of Janet Jackson's infamous wardrobe malfunction during the Superbowl approaches the Parents Television Council (PTC) in the US has released a study.

It has criticised MTV for the "incessant sleaze" of steamy programming aimed at young people.

During a week in March 2004, the Council said that it counted 3,056 flashes of nudity or sexual situations and 2,881 verbal references to sex.

PTC president L. Brent Bozell said, "MTV is blatantly selling raunchy sex to kids. Compared to broadcast television programmes aimed at adults, MTVs programming contains substantially more sex, foul language and violence. Interminently MTVs shows are aimed at children as young as 12. Theres no question that TV influences the attitudes and perceptions of young viewers, and MTV is deliberately marketing its raunch to millions of innocent children.

"The incessant sleaze on MTV presents the most compelling case yet for consumer cable choice. MTV is a subsidized network. As it now stands, parents have no choice but to take and pay for MTV if they want basic cable in their homes. Given a choice,how many parents now being forced to take and pay for MTV as part of a basic cable package, would continue to do so?"

The PTC recorded and analysed 171 hours of programming around the clock during 20-27 March 2004 during MTVs Spring Break coverage. MTVs reality programmes averaged 13 sexual scenes per hour, while music videos on MTV averaged 32 instances of foul language per hour.

In 171 hours of MTV programming, PTC analysts found 1,548 sexual scenes containing 3,056 depictions of sex or various forms of nudity and 2,881 verbal sexual references. That means that children watching MTV are viewing an average of nine sexual scenes per hour with approximately 18 sexual depictions and 17 instances of sexual dialogue or innuendo.

Music videos contained more foul language and violence than MTVs series or specials. In the 109 hours of music video programming contained within the study period, analysts recorded 3,483 uses of foul language (32 instances per hour). Violence occurred in music videos at a rate of 8.6 instances per hour (935 violent scenes).

Meanwhile MTV spokeswoman Jeannie Kedas said that the network follows the same standards as broadcasters. "MTV reflects the culture and what its viewers are interested in. It is unfair and inaccurate to paint MTV with that brush of irresponsibility.We think it's underestimating young people's intellect and level of sophistication."

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