UNITED STATES—I’ve sometimes asked myself the question of rather there should be more censorship on television than what we are currently seeing nowadays. I remember back when you couldn’t so much as indicate a curse word, but nowadays you can get away with certain terminology on network TV. Cable you can push the boundaries even farther, but it begs the question: just because you can do it, does it mean you should?
This madness has been brought courtesy of the latest episode of “Games of Thrones” on HBO. Anyone who has ever witnessed the series is well aware that it is not for the tame of heart. This is a show that has plenty of violence, quite a bit of nudity and at times controversial subject matter, but Sunday’s episode was one that left many buzzing.
The good thing is the audience didn’t really see the act, some have speculated precisely what has transpired as the screen fades to black, but it’s apparent that Sansa (Sophie Turner) had been raped. It’s that moment where you know something bad might transpire and for the life of you the fear begins to move down your spine to the point where you have to turn the channel or close your eyes.
Television is something that is consumed by Americans in massive amounts, and it’s not always the easiest to monitor what kids are or aren’t watching. I mean nudity has been around for ages, but it’s sad when you have kids younger than 10 watching shows like “Games of Thrones” or “The Walking Dead” which has a troupe load of violence and unsuitable content for youngsters.
If you believe the argument in psychology, disturbing imagery can desensitize human beings. I totally agree violence is something that we see as a common theme in life. It’s so widely available, that it’s depicted in cartoons nowadays. The only time we really get the picture of violence is when something of horrific circumstances happens to us. Seeing someone get shot or killed on TV, barely makes us whimper, but when the dramatization is heightened to the point where it seems to real, than the truth becomes more evident.
Some might ask whether I’m calling for censorship when it comes to art. The answer to that question would be no, but I do think we have a moral responsibility to consider just what we’re displaying to the masses. Yes, horrific crimes occur all the time in real life, but do we seriously have to implement that in our storytelling aspects on the small screen?
I argue that because it seems a bit harder to control the content on the tube than it is on the movie screen. Could you imagine if “Fifty Shades of Grey” was a mini-movie easily accessible on the small screen? You’d have so many kids, tweens and perhaps teens asking questions that parents would have no idea how to respond to. Television is slowly moving into that territory where almost anything can be seen during primetime hours.
The idea of having a somewhat soft sex scene has completely changed, its not pornography, but the networks are pushing the envelope. Violence is becoming bloodier and bloodier, I mean just check out “The Following” that show is like watching a movie in itself. Good to know that most networks put a precaution before airing the episode, but is that truly enough?
For those of us who work in the TV business we have to be a bit more aware of the content that we promote; its not about censoring things, it’s about knowing what is okay and what might be a bit too much for the audience. Not just for the youngsters, but in some cases the adults.