A Zogby poll commissioned by a national grassroots organization was unveiled this month, and shows that an overwhelming proportion of Americans feel that TV has too much mature content.
According to the poll, nearly 80 percent of the nation feels that there is too much sex, violence, and coarse language in aired programs, and the Parents Television Council (PTC), a non-profit organization that focuses on family-friendly television programming, is asking networks to address the problem.
The poll also revealed a weakness in the V-chip system, which rates programs on the amount of violent and sexual content they contain, showing that most parents are not using it nor did most of them know how its rating system works. This leaves children open to watch harmful content.
"Americans often feel that the entertainment industry is in complete control because it's hard for parents to keep track of what their children are watching," explained Dan Isett, director of corporate and government affairs for the PTC, to the Christian Post.
Over the last two years, the television industry has exhausted around $550 million as part of a V-chip education initiative, spending $250 million two years ago and $300 million this past year.
Despite the expenditures, the released Zogby poll shows that around 87 percent of people do not own or use the V-chip. When polled on what content descriptors stand for in a TV-PG-rated show (D for Some Suggestive Dialogue, L for Infrequent Coarse Language, S for Some Sexual Situations, and V for Moderate Violence), only about 8 percent of respondents answered correctly out of the possible four choices.
"If the goal was to increase awareness and usage of the V-chip, then the campaign has failed, and someone, somewhere, deserves a $300 million refund," said Tim Winter, president of the PTC, in a statement. "The only other goal I can discern is that the TV Boss campaign was designed solely to placate the Congress and to deflect any further attention to the growing tide of graphic sex, violence and profanity during the hours when children are watching television."
The PTC is asking that people speak up about the situation and for the television industry to take more responsibility for their programming.
"This new data shows that the industry continues to shock people, including children, with vile programming, and then passes the blame onto parents," added Isett. "Christians, just like so many other concerned families, need to speak up to let the industry know that it is responsible for what is broadcast over the public airwaves."