Adult Swim’s 1-Hour Expansion Sparks Wrath of Watchdog Group

imagesAlarmist watchdog group the Parents Television Council has turned its focus toward Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim after an announcement that as of March 31, the programming block would begin an hour earlier. The PTC is a “non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment,” which means that instead of simply turning off their televisions when they don’t like something, they vilify the content and encourage parents do the same.

From PTC President Tim Winter:

“Parents beware: not all cartoons are created equal. And what’s particularly dangerous about Cartoon Network and ‘Adult Swim’ is that the content changes from being kid-friendly to adult-oriented not with the click of a remote but with the tick of the clock.”

That’s right — At 8:00 p.m. PST / 7:00 p.m. Central, Adult Swim will now broadcast repeats of shows, such as King of the Hill (which has come under fire from PTC before), hat have already aired in the same time slot on other networks. The later Adult Swim lineup features shows such as Robot Chicken, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Squidbillies. They may not the cleanest shows on television, but shouldn’t parents be the ones to decide what’s appropriate for their children, and not conservative groups with itchy petition-filing trigger fingers?

Winter continued by saying:

“Cartoon Network’s ‘Adult Swim’ has a long history of marketing explicit animation to children. The network’s announcement that it is moving this programming block to an even earlier hour when children are more likely to be in the audience is disturbing on a number of levels. The network claims that they’re targeting adult males by moving ‘Adult Swim’ to an earlier hour, but in the process children are being thrown under the bus.”

“Cartoon Network and ‘Adult Swim’ provide a powerful example of why the current cable model is broken and why it must be changed. Parents must be given the opportunity to unsubscribe from the Cartoon Network on their cable bills, instead of having to subsidize explicit content in order to receive the programming they do want coming into their homes. Bipartisan and bicameral legislation pending in the Congress — bills introduced by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) — would give parents this much-needed right.”

“The cable industry must be exposed for their contemptible bundling scheme that forces families to underwrite explicit content. And until the system is fixed, parents must be on high alert.”

It seems that Winter is unaware that Adult Swim links to parental control apps through their website, empowering viewers to make personal choices about the programming they’d like to see. Additionally, they provide a comprehensive schedule with rating codes accompanying each individual show. Adult Swim does its part to allow viewers to make the “responsible entertainment” choices that PTC advocates for, and, as far as I can tell, isn’t sending Frylock to anyone’s house to hold their eyes open while hours of animated filth pour in.

As far as cable companies and their policies go — just because a channel is available doesn’t mean that customers are required to view it. In fact, most major cable providers have a block feature in their system that allows specific channels, shows, and ratings to be eliminated from the available selections.

Unlike PTC, cable providers and networks aren’t using their personal viewing preferences to dictate what type of programming should be available. It makes you wonder whose services you should really be avoiding.

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Casey Gilly is a Contributing Editor for CBLDF, a Staff Writer for Comic Book Resources and, most importantly, a cat enthusiast.