Granted, Miley Cyrus isn’t what you’d call kid-friendly these days. But is the Parents Television Council justified in calling for NBC to push back — or even cancel — the Sunday evening airing of her two-hour Bangerz tour special?
When I say we’ve all seen a little too much Miley Cyrus these last few years, I’m not just talking about her overexposure in the media. I literally mean we’ve seen too much of Miley.
Whether it’s twerking in what essentially amounts to a** chaps or simulating sex acts on the hood of a car, Cyrus has taken her pop-tart stage antics to the extreme. You could equate her shock value to that of Madonna’s provocative evolution during the ’80s, but truth be told, we’re pretty sure Cyrus’ degree of sexualization surpassed the Material Girl’s long ago.
So it’s not altogether surprising that the Parents Television Council (PTC) wouldn’t be too keen on the idea of a Miley concert airing during prime time hours.
When NBC announced it would be running the Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour as a two-hour special at 9 p.m. EST Sunday, July 6, PTC immediately went on the offensive, calling on NBC to change the air time and rate it as appropriate for mature audiences only — or, perhaps, not to air it at all.
The crux of their argument, obviously, is that Cyrus is “wildly inappropriate for children and families.” And since 9 p.m. EST is only 8 p.m. in half the country, PTC asserts that it is safe to assume teens, tweens and their parents will be watching.
“Given that her concert performances have been sexually graphic, laced with profanity and celebrating illegal drug use, NBC should reconsider its decision to air this program on the publicly owned airwaves altogether,” explained PTC president Tim Winter.
The watchdog group isn’t just calling out NBC — it’s also calling on parents and corporate sponsors to get on board with its anti-Miley-without-an-MA-rating message.
“We are calling on parents and on the corporate sponsors who underwrite broadcast TV programming to be forewarned,” said Winter. “The dirty little secret in the TV business is that NBC and other broadcast networks determine for themselves the age rating of each program, and they are financially motivated not to rate programs accurately.”
Accordingly, the PTC promises it will be “monitoring” the concert (aka watching) and taking note of any corporate sponsor that “chooses to associate its brand image with the program’s material.”
OK, so we get it. Cyrus can be offensive. As a matter of fact, she’s kind of making a career out of it lately. And I, for one, am likewise not looking forward to seeing Cyrus wag her tongue about and gyrate around the stage in a bedazzled thong monokini.
Which is why I won’t be watching.
My kids won’t either. See how that works? It’s a fun little party trick I do. I like to call it “changing the channel.”
In all seriousness, though, what are your thoughts on this? Is the PTC on the right track with wanting to push Cyrus’ special to 10 p.m.? Or are they overreacting?
As the mother of a very impressionable 3-year-old girl, I completely understand not wanting your kids exposed to inappropriate subject matter on the television.
And as for the rating, I’m not going to argue that Cyrus should come with a warning label saying she’s for mature audiences. But even if NBC fails to assign her that rating, I know of a much more stringent and discerning eye than that of the MPAA or any other organization: that of a mother.
If a show cues up and I’m uncomfortable with it a few minutes in, it earns a mama rating of TV-MA and, subsequently, a channel change.
So, is the PTC shifting all of the responsibility to NBC? They emphatically state that if NBC does air the special, “the network has an affirmative obligation not to air it during a time when children are likely to be in the audience.”
Were the program airing on Saturday morning or early Sunday afternoon, this argument would undoubtedly have merit — not that it doesn’t have some merit now, but is 8 p.m. CST/ 9 p.m. EST really an hour when most children are actively watching (and just tuning into a program on) TV?
If NBC airs the program, isn’t it our “affirmative obligation” as parents to ensure our children aren’t watching? A few easy alternatives that come to mind are, as I mentioned earlier, changing the channel. Or, I don’t know, turning the TV off altogether.
It’s not as though NBC is forcing anyone to watch. But even so, the argument there would likely be that the network is preying on the impressionable nature and questionable proclivities of tween and teen fans.
But if you don’t think Miley Cyrus is appropriate for your kids to watch (much less to emulate) shouldn’t that be a conversation that starts at home?