I Agree with Spielberg: “I’m a parent who is very concerned.”
“DON”T LOOK AT THE TV!”
Exclaiming that sentence–directed to my unsuspecting daughters–is a regular occurence in my household on any given Saturday or Sunday afternoon when Dad (me) is watching “the game.” Especially now that the weather is getting colder and there’s less to do outside. On the weekend, when they are taking a break from playing, the kids may wander into the living room to see what Dad’s up to. Occasionally, they’ll take a seat, ask me questions about the game and cheer when the Pats score a Home Run (they’re still learning the details of which team plays what…). Eventually, on comes the commercial break. I’ll let Steven Spielberg do the ‘splainin’ from there:
Steven Spielberg urged TV networks to be mindful of what they show on the air because of the effect it might have on children, and said programs like “CSI” and “Heroes” were too gruesome.
“Today we are needing to be as responsible as we can possibly be, not just thinking of our own children but our friends’ and neighbors’ children,” Spielberg told an audience Monday at the International Emmys board of directors meeting here.
Spielberg decried on-air promotions for television shows like “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” that showed “blood and people being dissected.” He also said that when his favorite TV show of the new season, NBC’s “Heroes,” showed someone cut in half in the 9 p.m. hour, he sent his younger children out of the room.
“I’m a parent who is very concerned,” he said.
Spielberg is correct to be concerned about the times that gruesome shows are aired. Yet, my big problem is when I’m on the couch on Sunday at 2:25 in the afternoon watching the Pats, with a little girl on each side of me, and the latest CSI commercial comes on, complete with a shootout and at least one, “well-used” cadaver laying on the table. (By the way, I don’t care what they say, the volume of a commercial is louder than the show).
I completely understand that TV networks are attracted to sports programming because they provide an opportunity to promote their cheaper and higher revenue generating fare to a particularly attractive audience demographic (18-34 year old males). No problem. Just remember that the content of the commercials for TV shows need to be appropriate for the time in which they air. I suppose if you’re showing a slasher flick at 2 PM on a Sunday, it’s OK to expect that the audience for that wouldn’t be offended or scared by the image of a bloody cadavar. But not when a kid is watching a game! (This goes for advertisements for “male enhancement” products, too, by the way!)
Have my kids been irrevocably harmed? No, but I haven’t caught one episode of CSI (any version) since it came on the air.