What is your opinion of the disclaimer statements on television programs?
March 3, 2008 5:09pm CST
Mature content, violence, explicit language...viewer discretion is advised. I understand that these disclaimers we see before programs is to protect the production companies and writers and the television channels and networks. These entities do not want to be held responsible for putting together programming that may get them in trouble, maybe sued by some parent who will claim psychological damage or some school that will claim a violent student was influenced by television. Up until the time that television started warning for discretion, society has tried programming certain blocks of times for various programs, a letter rating system like the movies, and even specialty channels for certain kinds of programs. All these measures remain in place though I don't think they did much good. Now we see these discretion warnings even on CARTOONS and children's networks. On one cartoon channel that my teens watch regularly EVERY program is preceded with a warning that the following program may contain violence or explicit language or content. Viewer Discretion is Advised. I am not kidding, it is on EVERY PROGRAM, and most of them are cartoons. I have to agree that this particular type of cartoon does seem to show more violence, but many children survived the coyote blowing himself up while other cartoon characters were constantly knocking each other over the head with heavy objects or shooting guns into each others faces. We watched these things all the time and no one ever warned us. If the industry is going to warn us before every program that we need to have discretion, maybe we should go back to the days when there was no television... But there is still the movies and the Internet and all kinds of other entertainment where you don't see these warnings and they are all just as bad or worse. When I see this warning over and over, I tend to shut it out, like any other useless annoyance. What about you? What kind of solution is there? Maybe if the stations posted the warnings during the station ID breaks instead of so obviously before every show, it would be less annoying. Maybe we should be more picky about what stations we watch, but it really is coming down to the point where EVERYTHING offends or otherwise affects SOMEBODY. That's just how life is. Why don't we just deal with it?