Cartoon Network vs Parent’s TV Council: Not All Cartoons are Created Equal.

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I came across this interesting read, while cruising Crunchyroll:

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/parents-television-council-sink-adult-swim-article-1.1605975

 

Long story short, the PTV (Parent’s Television Council) is gunning for Cartoon Network. No surprise there, considering PTV is about (and I say this as nicely as I can) limiting the graphic media that young ones should be viewing, and Cartoon Network is one of the largest cable networks on the airwaves. Naturally, PTV is going to make a big deal about any decisions an industry leader is going to make about their shows/air time.

 

Now let me make this very clear, I am not siding with EITHER party in this dilemma. In fact, I understand both sides of the table.

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Let me begin with saying: as an avid anime watcher, it always irritated me hearing the “but you watch cartoons? That stuff is for kids,” reaction. Generally, this is followed by me trying to explain to them that not all cartoons, or anime, are the same. Just because it’s animated doesn’t mean the attended viewer audience is for 10 year olds. There is a plenty of animated shows where gore, sex, violence, and some very thought provoking themes, can be seen. Grant it, it took many years for the States to understand this concept; and it wasn’t until recent years did western audiences (and studios, for that fact) begin to realize that the animation medium WAS an options; viewers don’t need to be in elementary school to enjoy some nicely drawn pictures.

 

And this is where our conflict starts: Western audiences have recently accepted animation as a form of media to tell more mature/adult stories and shows; unlike our brothers in East who have been telling more mature tells, in an animated format, for decades. What once was viewed as something only for children is starting to creep more and more into regular adult TV. Let’s be honest, for the longest time, while flipping through the channels, if you saw something animated, or a cartoon, you would think “Yeah, that’s a kid show,” just by glancing at it- not actually stopping to WATCH it.  Naturally, when a child sees something animated, they too are going to automatically assume that this is something they can watch- everything else they view is animated, so it only makes sense, right?

 

This is where PTV makes a valid point to parents: Be very aware that not all cartoons are created equal. Just because it’s animated, does not mean the show is child friendly. And yes, I even agree with PTV (and Im  a huge mature animation fan) that maybe Cartoon Network should, really, really, really, consider moving it’s mature content back by another hour. I think it’s great that we want to introduce the younger generation to more animation- but age appropriate animation. I honestly do not think Space Dandy, which does have a severe amount of fan service in it, needs to be at the 8:00pm slot where the young ones are still up and watching TV.  Instead, how about Cartoon Network slate, Star Wars, Young Justice, Pokemon, etc., for the 8:00pm slot? Hell, why not My Little Ponies? Because that fandom is massive, and I’m pretty sure there are more bronies that ponies…And there is NO shame in that!

 

I think it would be wise for Canrtoon Network to air shows, where age does not matter as much, that is  appealing to all generations. We’ve seen Nickelodeon do it with Avatar: The Last Airbender, and The Legend of Korra, and we’ve seen the success Cartoon Network has had with Yu-Gi-Oh, and other G rated animes. 1297659816262

 

After all, Cartoon Network is a cable channel primarily aimed at young viewers. I understand they Cartoon Network is trying to change up its demographics, or reach a wider audience, and if that’s what they want to do….they really should consider a name change to their channel, and stop showing materials for the younger generations.

 

Now, this isn’t to say I think Cartoon Network should entirely eliminate their more grown up animated shows- this is something PTV is aiming for on an extreme scale, and Im not cool with it. Cartoon Network should definitely keep it’s more mature segments, Adult Swim and Toonami. It’s awesome to see Space Dandy hit the air, or even reruns of Outlaw Star, or another Gundam series- but there is a time and place for everything; and parents NEED to be vigilant about that their children watch on TV.

 

Its going to be a common occurrence that your young one is watching a re-run on Teen Titans, GO! At 7:30pm and then when 8:00pm rolls around it might just be an rerun of Afro Samurai….Parents need to be aware of this kind of stuff; if you’re paying for cable to get Cartoon Network, it is most likely that your services includes a programming guide that lets you know what’s coming up next, and what the rating is.

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It isn’t Cartoon Network’s entire responsibility to police who watches the more mature content that they air. The company does its part by putting up those quick rating snippets before the show, and showing the rating at the top right hand corner DURING the show. If a parent catches their young one watching Robot Chicken, but doesn’t change the channel, then that was the parent’s decision- not the network’s.

 

Be proactive in your kids geekery (media consumption) know what they’re watching, and what else the network airs. Even if Cartoon Network decides to move the content geared toward the older audience members to an earlier slot, parents should at least know when it’s time to tell their kids to change the channel or go to bed. On the flipside, Cartoon Network really should consider leaving its more mature content for time slots that they know their younger audience may not be awake for- especially since this the kind of network that screams to be watched by the young ones.