Television watchdog group speaking out against AMC's 'The Walkin - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Television watchdog group speaking out against AMC's 'The Walking Dead' premiere

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A television watchdog group is blasting Sunday's season premiere of "The Walking Dead, calling it, "one of the most graphically violent shows we've ever seen on television" and citing it as a reason for "cable choice."

The Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a statement Monday.

According to CNN, the premiere of the shows' seventh season aired Sunday night, and featured two significant characters being beaten to death with a baseball bat covered with barbed wire.

"[Sunday night's] premiere of The Walking Dead was one of the most graphically violent shows we've ever seen on television, comparable to the most violent of programs found on premium cable networks," wrote PTC President Tim Winter. "It's not enough to 'change the channel,' as some people like to advocate, because cable subscribers -- regardless of whether they want AMC or watch its programming -- are still forced to subsidize violent content. This brutally-explicit show is a powerful demonstration of why families should have greater control over the TV networks they purchase from their cable and satellite providers."

The organization used the episode to argue for "cable choice," -- a concept that would allow consumers to choose individual channels to subscribe to a-la-carte, rather than having to subscribe to "bundled" packages which may include channels with unwanted content.

The statement continued:

"For those who say there is no societal impact from media, I urge them to contemplate the presidential election for a few minutes. And while The Walking Dead has found unquestionable Nielsen success for a cable program, most Americans do not want that kind of ultra-graphic and violent content coming into their homes. But if they want to watch a football game on Sunday night, or if they want to watch the Chicago Clubs [sic] clinch their first Pennant in three generations, or if they want to watch news coverage of the election, they are forced to underwrite The Walking Dead as part of their programming bundle.

Programs with violent content are proven to be harmful, especially to children; and most parents agree that having greater control over violent content coming into their homes is vital to protecting their family. When a basic cable network like AMC edges or even surpasses the premium networks in terms of explicit content, consumers must be afforded more control over which networks they purchase and which networks they don't."

Not everyone agrees with the PTC's stance. Rebecca Walser, a viewer, commented on the organization's Facebook page.

"This is one of my favorite shows!" Walser said. "It isn't rocket science to figure out that this show is in no way intended for children. As far as cable choices go, I have always had the option to remove AMC from my lineup. Stop using a show intended for adults, as a scapegoat for your agenda that every show needs to be like the Waltons."

"There's a choice and everyone has a choice," added viewer AJ McIntosh on the same page. "Watch it or Don't watch it. Also, it's called parenting."

The Parents Television Council describes itself as, "a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment," adding that it was founded in 1995, "to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media."

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