The Parents Television council has come out swinging against The Walking Dead and my head has pretty much exploded as a result. Apparently it has taken the PTC to point out that The Walking Dead is a brutally violent television show depicting un imagineable violence that is not suitable for young children.
The Parent Teacher Council takes issue apparently with the Walking Dead for its hundreds of brutal and gory death sequences all while carrying a TV-14 rating which means the show is appropriate for anyone 14 years of age and older. I happen to agree that The Walking Dead is ridiculously violent and probably does warranty a more mature rating but I think that the Parents council is not giving its parents enough credit.
Sure the Parent television Council can make the argument that the Walking Dead should have a more mature adult rating but since when do TV show ratings stop children from watching TV shows? Parenting stops children from watching shows that are inappropriate not meaningless parental warnings on the television screen.
I do not need somebody else to point out to me that my 6-year-old should not be watching the Walking Dead. I had no idea that the show had a PG 14 rating until the PTC pointed it out. The reason my son is not allowed to watch The Walking Dead is because I have decided that decapitation, flesh-eating and obscene violence and profanity are not suitable for my child.
Notice this was a decision made by me and not by a TV rating on a show. I know what my kids are watching and if I am not sure I watch with them and decide if its to mature for them based off common sense. There are plenty of TV shows and movies that are rated PG 13 that I do allow my son to watch with me because ratings in the long run mean very little. Avengers was rated PG 13 and yes I let him watch it with me.
My 6-year-old son has known what a zombie is since he was 4. Why? Because zombies are a part of pop culture. My son has no concept of death yet and to him zombies are no different than ghosts were to me when I was a kid watching Poltergeist with my father. Sure they are scary but they are also not real and just as I knew a poltergeist wasnt real my son knows zombies are not. That does however not change the fact I do not allow him to watch Walking Dead because as a parent I have made that choice. Just like I choose not to beat my children or abuse them mentally. It’s all part of being a parent. ( Yes I am being extreme but I am trying to make a point )
I for one do not think small children should be watching The Walking Dead and to somehow associate blame on AMC for not having the show rated MATURE vs PG 14 to me is just mind boggling stupid.
Harvard psychologists Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson who are both much smarter than I am have studied the phenomenon of violence in video games and how there is no causation between on-screen violence in video games and violence in real life. Can we not safely make the same assumption between TV shows and real world violence?
So I agree with the PTC that The Walking Dead is incredibly violent and not appropriate for children but I think I am missing the overall point. The Walking Dead is intended for mature teens and adults and if a parent is allowing their children to watch the show changing a shows rating will do nothing to change that.
I suppose you could call for an all out ban on the show but I still have a hard time believing that violence in society is a result of TV shows when society and religion play a much larger role in our children’s lives over TV.
What are your thoughts? Do you support the Parents Council? Do you allow your children to watch Walking Dead? Or are you doing your job and being a parent and monitoring your childrens viewing habits regardless of whether studies indicate it is harmless or how a TV show or movie is rated?