I have never seen a single episode of “Gossip Girl”, nor do I have any desire to see one. But I have read that an episode that was scheduled to air November 9, 2009 was to have a tryst between teenagers as a feature, and that people from Parents Television Council were urging local networks to put something in its place for that episode.1
To me, this is the wrong move.
The Power of the Forbidden
It’s no surprise to anyone that what is forbidden is what is desired. Adam and Eve ate of the fruit that was forbidden amid all the choices that they had. A child, when presented any number of options but one will want the one thing—until they’ve had it.
Getting a station to not play one episode will not prevent that episode from being seen.
- Many shows are displaying their shows on the Internet.
- There are now DVD boxed sets that show all episodes—and selling it as “this one with the banned episode!” will help sales.
- There won’t be total compliance.
Telling Others What to Do/See/Watch
We are living in a society now that is quickly becoming more secular and less Christian. While secular, this new culture is accepting of differing view points, so long as individual liberty is not trampled.
All this to say that the backlash against any kind of boycott can do more to hurt the point of view than to help it.
To me, I think that first and foremost that the Parents Television Council should be spending their time educating parents about what is in these shows and why they shouldn’t let their children watch them.
You see, it’s about more than just a single episode. I’m sure, if this is like any modern show, that the story arch has been building this way for some time. I’m sure that this isn’t the first time that it has sexy elements.
The poster to the right, which is the teaser for this season, would go to prove my point.
I can’t think of a person that should watch this show, nor a reason why it should be on broadcast television.
I would think that, to be effective, PTC should focus its efforts in getting people to stop watching this show all together, rather than focusing on a single episode.
If It’s Only One Episode That’s the Problem…
By singling out a single episode, it almost gives tacit approval to the rest of the show, the characters, the plot line.
Then again, when you have a sin in the title of your show—Gossip—one wonders why you expect something virtuous out if it.
Parents, sit with your kids. Watch what they’re watching. Be informed to what’s going on in your kids minds. And if there’s a problem with an episode, it’s probably time to shut that show off.
I mean, it’s only entertainment, right?