STAFF EDITORIAL: Parent watchdog group targets ‘Gossip Girl’

The narrow-minded interests of over-zealous censors masquerading as protectors of children should not hold back adults’ entertainment.

The Parents Television Council’s latest target is Monday’s episode of Gossip Girl. The episode features a particularly saucy affair involving three affluent New York socialites – typical fare for the top-rated drama.

Viewers have the right to change the channel if a program offends them, so in a mature society the discussion about the show’s freedom to explore varieties of sexual expression would end there.

However, the PTC said in a press release Wednesday that affiliates should pull the episode. Excerpts from PTC President Tim Winter’s letter to the CW and its affiliates are infuriating.

‘You must ask yourself, how does airing this program serve your obligation to serve the public interest?’ Winters wrote.

It’s simple: airing this program will entertain viewers who have come to enjoy the bold trysts that typify this engaging drama. Using TV networks to preach instead of satisfy will not hinder reckless and impressionable viewers from finding other ways to make poor decisions.

A drama about spoiled teenagers depicts behaviors designed to cause the maximum amount of strife and conflict. These characters are intended to attract viewers, not to be role models.

Censoring thought-provoking story lines only shortchanges viewers who know better than to take lessons about relationships and sex from a television show that airs on the same channel as The Vampire Diaries.

Entertainment programs are obligated to engage audiences, not to babysit America’s sexuality. Misguided morality crusaders such as the members of the PTC should focus on more pressing threats to children than a television program aimed at adults that contains mature material.

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