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The Parents Television Council has it out for Adult Swim and its witty black-screen commercial interludes. The activist group is calling for “sweeping reforms” within the cartoon community and namely aimed at Adult Swim, which airs during the nighttime hours of the supposedly kid-friendly Cartoon Network. This is all going down because the PTC found “shocking levels” of no good language and behavior on the network, which is popular with young teens. No one would argue Adult Swim, which airs between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., isn’t laden with profanity, blatant sexual imagery, and politically incorrect humor. The crusade is just a little melodromatic.
The council is mostly angry with Adult Swim because the programming accounts for a whopping 95% of the sexual references, 65% of sexual depictions, 85% of the explicit language, and 100% of the drug references. Sounds horrific, right? Well, the PTC only bothered to study 123 programs… on four networks. Want to know two of the other networks? According to Deadline Nick at Nite and The Disney Channel were two of the four. I guess the group has every right to aim a study at cartoons and see which are appropriate for kids, but who are they kidding? I don’t think anyone on the planet could argue Adult Swim hopes its biggest viewer base is pre-adolescent boys.
It’s not a problem the occasional comedy cartoon has gotten raunchy. It’s not Adult Swim’s job to regulate its programming, and its certainly not the government’s job. Every man-boy I know loves Adult Swim. That is not a limited market, by any means, and yet Adult Swim is one of few options available for those fans.
What a tedious study. I’m pretty certain the parental time used to focus on targeting adult cartoons as inappropriate for children would have been better served taking an active interest in what group member’s own children were watching on TV. If people aren’t paying attention to what their children are reading or watching or doing, it’s likely their kids will get up to some stuff. If a parent feels Adult Swim is inappropriate, it is the parent’s prerogative to make sure boys become man boys before they watch 95% of all sexual references made in cable televised cartoons on one of four networks.