The $#*!heads at the Parents Television Council

Posted by Michael Pinto on Aug 9, 2010 in Star Trek, Television |

On the left is The Parents Television Council and on the right is William Shatner

The amount of $#*! that William Shatner has to deal with mind-numbing! After waiting years for a decent payday he was left out of the reboot of Star Trek last year, and then just to rub salt in his wound they let Leonard Nimoy have a major role. Then Nimoy announces he’s retiring from acting which then scuttles the next film for Mr. Shatner. But William Shatner never says die! He manages to stick it to Hollywood and land the leading role in a television series Shit My Dad Says. But some people (the folks at the Parents Television Council) were unhappy with the title — so CBS changed the title to $#*! My Dad Says. But nooooooo that still wasn’t good enough for them:

“The Parents Television Council is ramping up its campaign against the CBS sitcom “$#*! My Dad Says,” sending letters to 300 advertisers. The PTC is urging marketers to not sponsor the show “unless they wish to associate their hard-earned brands with excrement.”

“The Second Edition of the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use, yet CBS decided to use the ‘s-word’ in the title of this show, putting its blatant contempt for children and families front and center,” PTC president Tim Winter said. “Unless or until CBS chooses a different title for this program, we are urging advertisers to avoid sponsoring such an abomination purported to be lighthearted fun. The advertisers have two options: Either they can be complicit in the effort to serve up excrement in front of children and families, or they can choose not to associate their products and services with excrement.”

Yes that’s right The Parents Television Council is afraid of the typographic characters $#*! which while not being actual profanity might somehow harm children. It should be noted that the formal name for these faux curse words are grawlixes which have been a standard device used by comic book artist dating back over 100 years ago to 1909. The grawlixes first appeared in the popular children’s comic the Katzenjammer Kids and have since been used in other comics like Little Orphan Annie, Thimble Theatre (Popeye), Dick Tracy, Mickey Mouse, The Spirit, Tintin, Alley Oop, B.C., Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois, Mother Goose and Grimm just to name a few. Here’s an example from a classic Disney Donald Duck comic book:

Donald Duck swearing

What kills me about what PTC us doing is that grawlixes were invented as a device to clean up comics — to make them both family friendly and advertiser friendly. From an educational point of view it’s not that curse words are wrong, but that you want children to have a larger range of vocabulary to express themselves. In fact you can’t tell a child NOT to curse unless they know what a curse word is in the first place, thus the term potty mouthed.

Honestly if you’re that worried about kids I’d be far more upset that every library in the nation is cutting back on their hours due to budget cuts. Add to that the fact the schools are eliminating arts and music programs left and right, so this generation of kids are having constructive outlets of their expression being taken away each day. And getting beyond that as of 2008 there are 16.7 million American children who live in food insecure households — which is a fancy way of saying that those kids go to bed hungry.

With all of those problems you’d think that the Parents Television Council would have better things to do with their time like trying to get funding for PBS: But instead they’re picking on William Shatner who inspired generations of kids to make something of their lives by playing a fictional starship commander.

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