Not a Boycott – Ideology Trumps Dollars

16 Aug

megaphoneboyBeck – a brilliant media leader – told me to organize a rally at Disney during our interview Wednesday. Tons of commenters here on the blog and elsewhere have echoed his instruction. The refrain goes something like, “They don’t care what you believe. They care about dollars. Hit them where it hurts: their pocketbook.”

But ya know what?

That’s not true.

This is not a conversation about capitalism. It is a conversation about ideology. Not because I wish it to be or am defining it that way, but because the ones in power have made it that way.

TV money is harder to track than film money – at least, for a consumer. So, let’s take a look at the film money for just a second.

Do you know which movies make the most money in this country? The ones rated G and PG. Do you know which ones make the least? Those rated R. This is not new. It’s been this way for at least ten years.

John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners, called for more “family titles” at CinemaCon earlier this year. He said, “If exhibitors could make one recommendation to our studio partners, it would be make more family titles and fewer R-rated movies. Only two R-rated movies made the top twenty last year, even though more R-rated movies were distributed than any other rating category.” (full story here)

So, we already are showing Hollywood with our dollars what we want and have been for a while. It hasn’t changed the content. Why?

Well, I’m reading an interesting book by Ben Shapiro, Primetime Propaganda, that brings the conversation back to television production. In this book, Shapiro (whom I’ve never met and know nothing about other than what is in this book) shares actual conversations he had with studio heads, television writers, producers, and actors. And what they shared with him – according to him, because his Jewish last name and Harvard ball cap communicated “liberal” – was that there is a purposeful push of a liberal agenda/mindset through our television shows.

Not because it makes more money, but because it accomplishes an ideological purpose.

That’s why I don’t see efficacy in jumping on a bandwagon of, “Let’s have a rally. Let’s boycott.” I don’t see it making an actual difference because dollars are not what is driving film and television production and distribution. The dollar is not king here. Worldview drives production. (Also why I’m grateful Beck has bought studios!)

The only way to change what is getting made is to change who is making and distributing it, or change the ideology of those currently making and distributing it.

That is a Herculean task, which is an understatement. But it’s not insurmountable. It can be done. If you want to vote with dollars, then put your money behind the production and distribution of quality shows and films. Be proactive in this, not reactive. Don’t be content with tossing your TV and never darkening the door of a theatre.

If you don’t have access to production and distribution individuals, or aren’t sure how to get started, go over to the SON site. The whole reason we started that was to equip and encourage individuals producing and distributing good content for the mainstream audience. To be very transparent, while I serve as the co-chair of SON, I do not draw a salary from it. It’s a non-profit, and a young one at that. Every dollar over there goes to support the audience we’re serving: writers and creators of quality, mainstream, commercially-viable entertainment. I can’t tell you how many writers I’ve listened to who are frustrated beyond belief because their (very good) script or novel gets tossed out for having a person of faith in it or not including a sex scene or an element that pushes the chosen mindset.

If we’re determined to stop doing something, how about we stop our inactivity? Our disengagement? Let’s be a people of committed action – not against, but for. Let’s be for the content we want and support it. Can we do that?

(If you are a part of an organization that supports the creation and distribution of good, mainstream media content, let me know. It’s going to take ALL of us to turn this ship.)


Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Industry Reflections


76 responses to “Not a Boycott – Ideology Trumps Dollars

  1. bojenn11

    August 16, 2013 at 9:22 am

    nicely said Rebeca

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 16, 2013 at 10:25 am


      • Bob Walker

        August 18, 2013 at 12:11 am

        I got an idea for you! Don’t entertain your kids with “good morning america”, turn off your TV and eat breakfast with them. That’s what a real Christian would do! A sad, yet common story you portray. Get out of your box, please!

      • edmccray

        August 18, 2013 at 6:13 am

        So, Bob, you’re saying we should just put our heads in the sand and go away?

  2. matt

    August 16, 2013 at 10:00 am

    What kind of programming do you want?? All christian all the time??
    Since you have appointed yourself “the decider”… I really want to know what you want me and everyone else to watch.
    I saw your interview on CNN. You were “outraged” over a commercial that you felt damaged your children beyond repair. The usual irony was there. You saw a scantily clad couple and went berzerk over it. The gun fired at the end didn’t seem to bother you one bit though. As usual, sex got a christian weirdo all riled up, while violence wasn’t evem noticed.
    You folks are so strange. If sex is so offensive to you, how did you end up having children?
    I may come off like a jerk, but normally i’m not.
    But it’s offensive to me that some christian sitting in Florida has decided for the rest if the world what is and is not ok to view. And why?? Because you have children. An 8 year old boy seeing two people with little clothes on is not going to hurt him. I’m sure you will drill your goofy beliefs into him so he grows up thinking there is something inherently evil about sex, and that is a sad outlook for his formative years.
    All i ask is that you limit all your censoring of life to your own home.
    If you are that darned fearful of your son seeing a woman’s body, then lock him in a room, home school him, and put nothing but christian crap on your tv.
    Let those of us who aren’t all sensitive to boobies have regular programming.

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 16, 2013 at 10:43 am

      Hi, Matt. Thanks for your comment. “Scantily clad” and “completely naked” are two different things. As you can see in the image, the individuals are completely naked.

      I did not “go berzerk”. I panicked internally, yes, that my child had just been damaged. Studies reveal that the earlier boys are exposed to sexual IMAGERY, the earlier they have sex. And the earlier someone has sex – science tells us – the more likely they are to engage in dangerous, unprotected sex. I got my child out of the room and have discussed it with him since, very calmly. Individuals who disagree with my reaction tend to paint me in very zealous, extreme words – which I understand accomplishes the purpose of portraying me as a crazy person, but your words are not what actually happened.

      No, the gun did not bother me as it was portrayed in this particular ad. During the time we lived in Kentucky, my husband hunted and taught our son how to do so as well. It is important that we understand where our food comes from and be grateful when an animal gives its life to sustain our nutritional needs. My child is at an appropriate age to understand the mechanics of a gun and its power to harm or help, depending on who is wielding it and why.

      As I have said REPEATEDLY (including during the CNN interview you say you watched), I am not saying individuals should be censored from creating this content. As I said in my blog post, I believe sex is a beautiful, exquisite gift. Why is my recognition of sex as an inappropriate topic for an eight-year-old equivalent to my believing sex is “evil”? Yet another jump to extreme that isn’t true. There is nothing evil about sex – only how it is being handled by some people in some places.

      Yes, there is something wrong with showing an eight-year-old two naked people having sex. Studies show this, even if your morality doesn’t. To think an eight-year-old should see two completely naked people having sex…and that saying it’s wrong is somehow extreme…reveals a sick mindset. I shouldn’t have to opt out of that sick mindset at 8:26 in the morning while watching the news. Those who have that mindset should have to opt IN.

      • matt

        August 16, 2013 at 12:04 pm

        Popular post this morning, Rebeca.
        I must admit, i was a little ticked when i saw your interview and what it was all about. I’m sorry about getting personal in my “attack”.
        But…. And you knew there’d be a but…
        I wouldn’t paint you as crazy. But you went from seeing an ad that you thought was too racy, to being at the CNN studio discussing it on national television. I WOULD say that is an extreme response. Holy COW that is extreme.
        Where i always get lost are the priorities. The violence/sex deal.
        You have taught your son about guns. He understands the dangers and what they’re all about. A good thing. Why sex can’t be discussed in the same manner is beyond me. Maybe not at 8 years old, but then when? When is it ok for guns and violence to be discussed? I would think a child is ready for both when he/she is ready for one.
        Lol, and talk about extreme and not true…
        Showing two naked ppl having sex to an 8 year old is NOT what i said. You make it sound like i want kids watching porn. That ad was far from the “naked people having sex” that you’re claiming. It was brief, and carefully shot. There are already cencorship guidelines they must meet.
        As for opting in or out. I believe you opt in the moment you turn on a specific channel. There are a myriad of kid friendly channels, and you surely have those options.
        So we must agree to disagree. I believe you should be able to choose what you want your family watching, and i believe my tv shouldn’t be subjected to your wishes. But the moment they start showing full nudity and relations beyond an embracing kiss, i’ll buy what you’re selling.
        Till then, may i suggest Nickelodeon until the kids are off to school?

      • Rebeca Seitz

        August 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm

        Matt – “guns” and “violence” are not the same thing. Guns can be used to commit violence, yes. They can also be used to secure food via hunting or to supply defense from bodily harm. My husband and I taught our son about the proper use and respect of guns for two reasons. First, my husband took my son on a hunting trip (very popular in our previous home state). Second, the small town where we lived was very rural and home defense typically fell to the homeowners as police were a fair distance away. (When someone robbed the local bank, I was quite grateful to have a gun in my home and knowledge of how to use it.) We neither needed nor desired showing him graphic, bloody photos of people gunned down with Uzis in order to have the discussion. We would not put such imagery in our child’s brain. That would be disgusting and seriously harmful to him and his development.

        By that token, the conversation regarding “guns” and “sex” is similar – it doesn’t require graphic imagery (which has long-term, negative repercussions) to have the appropriate, educational conversations. Your idea that sexual maturity and violence awareness develop along the same track, though, is disturbing and unfounded.

        As for opting in – no, I did not opt in to seeing two naked people having sex by turning on “Good Morning America”. That’s ridiculous.

        As to Nickelodeon – my daughter occasionally watches Bubble Guppies on Nick, Jr. All of the other Nickelodeon shows are not allowed in our home. Have you watched shows on that channel? Full of rude, back-talking, sarcastic, innuendo-filled content that does nothing to teach my children to be mature, responsible, kind, pleasant, fun-loving, productive individuals. Why would I set them up with examples that teach children to speak rudely or sarcastically only to be met with punishment when they implement the behavior? If they continue to speak that way to people as they grow older, they will not be met with success in relationships and endeavors. What a cruel mom I would be to make them think that kind of language, attitude, and conversation is a good example to follow.

    • marie

      August 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

      You are probably one of the sickos that sits and watches pornography. sick people that get off on watching people do things that even animals don’t do. Our society has become a sick people. I am sorry for you that you want everyone to be subjected to filth that you find entertaining. You are a Godless perverted person.

      • Marie

        August 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm

        P.S. all you people that think your rights are being infringed on WAKE UP! We have a right also to voice our opinion. So many ignorant people in the world.

  3. Tom

    August 16, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I agree with your comment that we vote with our actions. Not good enough to avoid and not patronize unhealthy messages. We must support the good ones and use the good ones for positive models.

    Looks like you stimulated a debate on Fox news. I hate the “better they see that than violence” response.

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 16, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Thanks, Tom! Yeah, that piece on Fox was interesting – it’s very surreal to see yourself talked about on television. And the idea that we have to show our children either violence or sex – instead of NEITHER – is completely asinine.

  4. richt619

    August 16, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Hi Rebeca,

    This issue covers most of the ideological spectrum. People associated with extremely “liberal” groups are very upset about how women are portrayed and the harmful effects it has on their daughters. The American Psychological Association has recommended that no child 8 or under view any commercials. In some liberal European countries ads during children programming are banned. This may one of the only topics where there is a substantial majority of agreement that ads can be or are harmful to children and that parents should be able to view television without that concern. I believe that giving parents control over what ads they are subjected to in there homes is important. It about “who is driving the bus”. Individual consumers or the industry. Since it is consumers that pay for everything in the end (content, purchase items) it seems that they should have control. Technology can remove the ads and replace it with something that parents choose that affirms their values. All individual and all under their control. They affirm their values in their homes in a way that makes sense to them. In short – They “get to drive the bus”.


  5. Kylie

    August 16, 2013 at 2:59 pm


    I came across your story on CNN. I am in total awe and felt a surge of pride when I heard your story. I love that you are backing up your beliefs and taking action. I too had a recent similar experience. I live in Utah and while driving on the highway was appalled to see a naked woman on a billboard. To make a long story short, I rallied support, contacted the business who posted the billboard, contacted local legislators and ultimately the billboard was removed – after a long, difficult process.

    If there are still people who disagree with the content the media industry portrays – why doesn’t it seem like the media is changing? why does it seem so difficult to change? I would love to support you in your cause! and would love to hear from you

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 16, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks so much, Kylie!

  6. kristinemac

    August 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    You know, it is amazing to me (as I’ve been watching this drama unfold through your interviews and posts) how some people automatically jump to words such as “censorship”, “weirdo” etc., when someone suggests setting a standard of decency or prudence (especially in regard to viewing times when children could be watching) for television programming which does not include a graphic image of sex between a man and a woman.

    Where is the common sense which promotes the idea that sex is indeed beautiful and should not be exploited for the ever growing prurient appetites of our culture? How is it being missed sex has been exploited to such an extent that internet pornography now accounts for 12% of websites? Where is the disconnect? How are people not seeing as the envelope is being pushed further and further this is having a significant, negative impact in regard to sexual violence against women?

    Yes. We do have a responsibility to engage our culture in this discussion. We should be allowed to say “you know, graphic sexual images in the early morning cross a line”. and to point out that the soft porn which is swiftly becoming acceptable on network television has ramifications which could adversely affect impressionable young men and how they view/treat women. That’s not being a “weird Christian”. It’s called being a sensible adult.

  7. Shostakovicz

    August 16, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    kristinemac, you act as if there are no standards already. The fact is, there ARE standards and that commercial met the standards (by definition or it would not have been allowed on the air). The fact is that you and Mrs. Seitz disagree with the standards and would prefer to impose your own standards in their place.

    As Mrs. Seitz has already said, her point is ideological. She wishes to impose her own standards instead of the ones already in place simply because her ideology (Christian ideology) disagrees with it. She, and you, favor censorship (defined as the examination, by an official of the government, of books, plays, news reports, motion pictures, radio and television programs, letters, cablegrams, etc., for the purpose of suppressing parts deemed objectionable on moral, religious, political, military or other grounds) based on ideological reasons. As has been pointed out, why do you get to decide what the rest of us watch? Why don’t I get to decide? Why doesn’t the guy that lives next to me get to decide?

    • edmccray

      August 16, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      If this commercial “met the standards” then why did Facebook delete the photo still when Rebeca posted it there? Clearly this is not as universal of a standard as you would have us believe.

      • Shostakovicz

        August 16, 2013 at 10:16 pm

        I don’t believe I, nor anyone else, ever said the standard was universal. Facebook has it’s standards and they are (obviously) not the same as the FCC mandated broadcast standards. What I said was that the commercial met the legally required standards for broadcast on network television at that time of day. I said nothing about it meeting Facebook standards. You do realize they’re not the same thing, don’t you?

      • edmccray

        August 17, 2013 at 1:41 am

        Why shouldn’t standards be universal? There’s no such thing as relative morality. Something either is or it isn’t. If something is too raunchy for one organization (and there’s some pretty raunchy stuff on Facebook) then it should be too raunchy for all. What’s the difference?

    • kristinemac

      August 16, 2013 at 7:16 pm

      I’m not calling for a boycott or censorship. I’m saying this is an important discussion we must have because it ties into deeper issues which affect women and men. And yes, it is ideological, and as a viewer I have as much right to interject my views as you do. But right now it’s the producers and executives who are deciding what does or does not meet the standards, which they are continually pushing to what is now considered “soft porn”. Part of what I do is work for an non-profit which helps rescue women and children victimized by human trafficking. These issues tie into what’s driving internet porn which has a direct link to human trafficking and the sex trade. So yes, I think it needs to be addressed.

      And this ad was aired in the early morning at a time which should be considered “safe” for families by those same standards.

      • Shostakovicz

        August 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm

        You do in fact, have the right to interject your views. If I implied otherwise, my apologies. What you do NOT have the right to do is force everyone to abide by your views. This wasn’t soft porn. This wasn’t even what your typical teenager in the 50’s saw in National Geographic. The standards are not set by producers and executives, they are set by the Federal Communications Commission. Conflating a five-second skin shot with internet porn is like saying a child’s cap gun is the equivalent of an AK-47. It’s disingenuous at best.

      • kristinemac

        August 16, 2013 at 11:20 pm

        Just so everyone is clear on what “soft porn” is: “Softcore pornography is pornographic or erotic film or photograph that is less sexually explicit than hardcore pornography. Softcore pornography is intended to arouse, and typically contains nude and semi-nude performers engaging in casual social nudity. The visual representation of genitalia (full nudity) is common in printed media,[1] and increasingly so in film[2] and television.[3] Softcore pornography also typically contains depictions of sexual activity, such as sexual intercourse or masturbation. The sexual activity is typically simulated.” Wikipedia

      • Shostakovicz

        August 17, 2013 at 1:25 am

        In the first place, by that definition, some would consider two people kissing to be soft-core porn. In the second place, I won’t take Wikipedia as a credible source for much of anything. No offense intended, but the simple fact that anyone can edit the articles any way they wish invalidates it as a source (at least without reputable backup) in my opinion.

      • edmccray

        August 17, 2013 at 1:46 am

        LOL! You’re too much, Shostakovicz! I have READ 1950’s National Geographics and I don’t recall EVER seeing a photo in them of two people having sex or simulating having sex. What on earth are you talking about? I am not aware of ANYONE Who would define kissing as porn. THat’s just a silly thing to assert.

        Have you been listening to the media over the past few months (let alone years?) They HAVE been trying to tell us that toy guns are the SAME as real guns. These same people who tell us sex isn’t sex and porn isn’t porn are telling us that toys are guns and all guns are dangerous weapons.

    • Dari

      August 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      So what IS this standard that you want to be able to decide for yourself…that an 8 year old in your living room should be allowed to see a depiction of sex during the morning news? Is that the “censorship” you are railing against? You are completely free to watch the program and watch the sex scenes at night after prime time, when most children aren’t watching. Why can’t we be free to watch DAYTIME tv in peace, without worrying that our children or grandchildren will see naked people having sex pop up?

    • Christine

      August 19, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      “the commercial met the legally required standards for broadcast on network television at that time of day.”

      Um, NO, it did NOT. She filed a complaint with the FCC–I have no doubt whatsoever ABC will be fined for having violated the rules. And they SHOULD BE. It is outrageous that they would air that trash at 8 o’clock in the morning–and the fact that it is not bloomin’ OBVIOUS to everyone shows just how far society has sunk these days…

  8. edmccray

    August 16, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I agree with you completely. How could a boycott or rally work when a similar demonstration in the late 90’s failed. (I’m a big expert of Disney, both Walt and modern era) If you recall, around 1995 or 1996 Disney began pro-gay policies throughout their company and Christians began to protest in the parks and boycott. It’s possible that this is a factor in why the animated features prior to 1996 grossed several hundred million each while those from 1996 on each grossed 100 million or less. Disney didn’t seem to care that their new “progressive” standards alienated a large portion of America because they felt they were advancing the greater cause. If they hold this same tact on this current episode what are we going to do that will have any effect? If Mickey is proud of this then I don’t see what could be done to change the Mouse’s mind.

    A similar example to what I mean is Hollywood makes a ton of films that are box office bombs but are critically claimed and they garner them with awards. In many cases these films are diametrically opposed to what the majority of Americans want to see as proven by their rejection of such films in droves. Filmmakers have to merit making these box office losers so they shower them with accolades to make them prestige pictures (read what happened with the “Passion of the Christ” / “Brokeback Mountain” Oscar screenings/snubbings)

    It is a fact that many filmmakers are trying to change the culture through films. Thomas Schumacher and Jeffery Katzenberg have both made comments on how through their animated films they are going to change the morality of the next generation and they’re not alone. (Katzenberg is also the man who “discovered” Obama by the way.) I used to be really into animated features but I’ve seen very few in recent years that interest me. It’s all liberal propaganda now. Look at Pixar. In Wall-e we are shown how capitalism is evil. In Cars 2 big oil is evil. In The Muppets (which they had a hand in) the villain is a greedy oil exec who wants to drill for oil in the Muppet theater (because we all know that petroleum engineers are drilling for oil inside people’s homes…). In their up coming sequel to Finding Nemo they just changed the ending because it used to have a Sea World type park in it and the progressive view is that zoos and aquariums are now cruelty to animals so out it went. They even compared this to being like slavery or gay rights It just never ends. Where are the films that offer other points of view?

    On a side question, as someone who has a background in this area, how do we get back into it? I hear what you’re saying about supporting Christian and traditional valued screenwriters and filmmakers but when you happen to be one of those people whom you speak of how do we get back into the field when we’ve been out of it for so long? I’m not intending to toot my own horn or sound self-serving but I know God has given me this talent because so many people who have read my work have told me so. At times I’ve come to question that because of my treatment by industry people. I just feel like my talent must be wasted. I don’t mean to sound whiny or complaining though. I really want to be involved again and even though I haven’t been making films I’ve been applying my storytelling talents to print media. How does someone like me get back into the film field again? Am I now an obsolete man? I just want to do my part and be what I was born to do. Thank you.

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 16, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Hi, Ed. Thanks so much for your comments here and, more importantly, for the work you’ve done in the entertainment field. I understand how disheartening it can be to work hard on developing your talent and answering your calling as a storymaker, only to find doors slammed in your face because you happen to be a person of faith. It is such a sad display of intolerance and bigotry.

      Know that you are not alone. This is another reason we started SON. When we gather together and realize that more have had this experience, we are affirmed both in our faith and in our commitment to the calling that started it all. Simply put, a hard row to hoe is easier with two at the handle.

      I strongly encourage you to go to the SON FB page and start posting. While it is a new place for us to assemble, it’s catching on quickly. Scripture tells us it is better to travel together, so that when one falls down, the other can help him up. Come travel with us!

      • edmccray

        August 17, 2013 at 2:22 am

        Rebeca – Thank you for your kind words. I would love to attend SON but it’s out of my price range. I also live in New England and the travel expenses in addition to the attendance fees make it even more unobtainable for me. I know these sorts of things are expensive to run but when the entrance fees are that high it closes the door to people like me who are in the middle to lower middle class or were middle class and have been shoved into the lower middle class in recent years. Please do not take what I’ve said as an insult. Perhaps in the future you could offer something that opens the door to others like me? Perhaps you could offer DVDs of the seminars and have a site we can pay to join for the social aspects? (Some of the writing groups I belong to that do similar events do the same thing. You can buy a DVD set of all the seminars for a few hundred bucks if you can’t attend. It might be something worth looking into.) I’m not sure what the answer is. But I do understand the costs involved in putting something like this on and you have to cover your expenses.

        I’ll join up at your FB page. I’ve been off FB for a while because I’ve been frustrated with them too. I’d set up a page for my new book and a lot of people were posting on it then FB shut it down this past spring claiming it violated their TOS to have people who don’t know each other in real life friending one another. (I’ve never heard of such a thing but that’s what they told me the violation was. I personally believe it was because of the “let’s hear George Zimmerman out” comments since a week or so after they did this to me it was reported that they shut down all pages that were “pro-Zimmerman”. I wasn’t being “pro-Zimmerman”. I was just saying everything he’d said the media scoffed but, so far, the evidence had backed up everything he’d said. For that you get deleted.) That’s why I’ve retreated to wordpress but my blog doesn’t nearly get as many visitors or comments as my FB page used to. I just get tired of this “silence all opposing voices” campaign that’s currently going on in our society. People with traditional values are the one group deemed “okay” to discriminate against. Did you know that Amazon is discriminating against customers who buy certain books? It just never seems to end.

  9. Rich Theriault

    August 17, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Hi Rebeca,

    Thanks for your good work in raising awareness and organizing people into action.

    I agree with your observation that in the end positive choices in content are very important. Of course if you want to watch live sports, gma and other existing live content, as you were the other morning, you should be able to do so without being subjected to unwanted or offensive advertising.

    So if being able to have the overall experience you want for you and your family is within your control that is a good thing. It is now possible for you to replace commercials with desirable alternative broadcast content while watching live tv. You can check that out at By early next year you will be able to replace commercials with digital content of your choosing. For example, vignettes introducing great family based programming could be offered as a choice for commercials substitution. There is one hour of commercials in each football game. That is 1 hour of time broken into 15 second to 3 minute slices per game.

    This is a new media distribution delivery platform that allows individuals and parents to “drive the bus” according to their own value while preserving the ability to enjoy existing live tv content. It also preserves the ability of each and every home to decide what they want. It does not require the system to change. However change will necessarily follow. Individuals can orchestrate what they wish, in the manner they wish, without dictating how others experience live tv.

    This new media platform represents a radical paradigm shift in how technology is used. Up until now technology has been used to leverage one media experience to millions of ppl. The one decides what the many will get. Now and in the very near future technology will be used to support millions of one to one individually selected media experiences. Everyone will be in a position to choose for themselves and/or their families. This is already happening with internet tv. It is now possible for live tv content.

    My sincere hope is that our brothers and sisters will choose wisely.


    • Dari

      August 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Rich, your hope is that brothers and sisters (Christians?) choose wisely. My thought was that this would finally put the responsibility where it belongs – on the individual. When Christians CHOOSE questionable content, rather than hide behind the “times are bad and there’s nothing we can do about it” mentality, we will see where the true “believers” really stand.

      • richt619

        August 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

        Dari, I agree with you completely. Jesus offered His message to people as a gift. Like any gift they were and continue to be free to accept or refuse it. With mytvchoice people have the ability to choose the experience they want during commercial breaks. During the commercial break they can elect to have mytvchoice automatically switch them to another broadcast channel or to an unsubscribed cable channel (blank screen). In any case they decide what is right for them and/or their family. Since 1/3 of the programming is commercials, parents have an opportunity to introduce whatever other content they desire. As the mytvchoice subscriber base grows, the industry will get the message. The industry has managed to offend many non-Christians as well. So if they all choose to avoid the commercials as well the impact on the industry will be even stronger.

        I agree with Rebecca that having good content choices available is very important. It is really a matter of creating awareness that they exist, making it cost-effective and accessible.

  10. Lora Moseley

    August 17, 2013 at 12:56 am

    You are right on so many counts… as the above comments reiterated.
    But…. I do agree that any business, media or otherwise, will stand up and take notice when the dollars decrease and the negative publicity increases.
    I am afraid that we cower when what is being boycotted is something we don’t want to give up.

    • Rich Theriault

      August 17, 2013 at 8:22 am

      Hi Lora,

      With what I mentioned above with mytvchoice several things are accomplished all within your control.

      (1) You get to decide to accept the commercials with live tv or not. You get to decide what is right for you and for your family.

      (2) if you believe making a financial statement to media companies is effective or useful then this is a critical part of that effort. The advertising fees for live sports are overwheliming the largest. Also 1/2 of every BASIC cable bill in the country goes to sports, 1/4 to espn. You hit sports, you make a difference. 180m Americans watch a game or more a week of sports. That is 65pct of the entire US population. In addition to sports mytvchoice covers all significant live events, dancing with the stars, voice, American idol. As mytvchoice grows it can and will cover more based on what people want to have covered.

      (3) you get to view what you want to view without having to get universal agreement from other individuals or institutions or companies. People can decided to agree to disagree on what is acceptable and what is harmful – but what goes on in your home viewing experience is your decision.

      (4) there will be a mechanism over time to get all kinds of programming that you want to get instead of the commercial available to you. Let the quality of the content, based on an individual’s values stand on its own. Open up the distribution of that content so that those that care about that content can be made aware of it and decide if and when they want it. This makes it a new media platform driven by you. You get to “drive the bus” when it comes to the live tv viewing experience.

      (5) a million people on mytvchoice will change the entire game through constructive action with individual impact being immediate.

      I am interested in your feedback and others in this blog since obviously all of these issues are important to everyone here. Getting out ones point of view is important and rallying the troops publicly is great – it would be strengthened by making an immediate difference in your homes and your lives now changing the viewing experience available to you according to your values.

      Mytvchoice is a young company and is committed to making a difference starting with how you want to experience live tv. your views are essential to that since it is all about what you want.

      My sincere and fervent hope is that we all choose wisely.


  11. Shostakovicz

    August 17, 2013 at 1:29 am

    I’m assuming that you’re including PG-13 movies in with the PG movies. I believe the actual definition of PG13 includes nudity, so at least in my opinion, what we saw in that commercial more closely approaches PG13.

    For the record, the five highest grossing films of 2012 were all PG-13.

    The Avengers
    The Dark Knight Rises
    The Hunger Games
    The Hobbit

    • edmccray

      August 17, 2013 at 1:37 am

      …And at least 4 out of 5 of those films were seen by FAMILIES. With the first Spiderman film a new trend in Hollywood began, the PG-13 COMIC BOOK film became accepted as a family film rating. Skyfall is a James Bond film, which could be argued as a cousin of the Comic Book film. The Hobbit was seen by a large family audience (many of whom were CHRISTIAN) because of the popularity of the book. But the point is, NONE of those 5 were R rated…

      • Robin

        August 17, 2013 at 1:41 am

        If you took your kids (families) to see Hunger Games, Skyfall, or The Dark Knight Rises and are upset at this advert… your priorities are all kinds of messed up.

      • edmccray

        August 17, 2013 at 2:02 am

        I’m not saying that I took my family to them. I’m saying that a larger percentage of Americans DID take their families to these films. I’m not saying I agree that these films are acceptable for a family audience but I’m saying that a large percentage of Americans did and this trend began with the first Spiderman. (I think it began with that and remains the norm for comic book films because most Americans see comic books as a kid thing but that is no longer the case. They ignore the rating and see Batman or the Hulk and think it’s safe. I’ve read a lot of reviews of people who were shocked with the content of the new Batman films and took their kids to see them. What did they expect? The ratings were quite clear.) In my opinion, it’s another example of pushing the bar to what is acceptable to audiences. They exhausted everything they could do in PG so PG-13 has become accepted by many as the new PG just as PG became accepted as the new G 30 years ago. Filmmakers make the claim that they HAVE to put that stuff in there to get audiences to come but this is just an excuse. I’m sorry you misunderstoof my view on this. I should have been more clear.

      • Robin

        August 17, 2013 at 2:11 am

        The ratings system was different 30 years ago. The 1968 “Romeo and Juliet” shows her breast during a love scene, and that movie is rated G and I saw it in high school.

        This is just some “steamy” side nakedness.

        There are so many better things to be truly upset at in this world.

        Kids seeing glimpses of two beautiful naked people on TV is not one of them.

      • edmccray

        August 19, 2013 at 3:54 am

        The rating system changed in the early 80’s when Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom received an R rating. Steven Speilberg and George Lucas knew that this would limit the box office of the family audience so rather than address the content in their movie, they lobbied to lower the bar and create the PG-13 rating. Gradually what is considered to be PG-13 has lowered over the years.

        If you saw a movie made in the 1960’s with nudity in it it was NOT rated G. First of all, to even include nudity means it would have been made AFTER the Hayes office and the Catholic League left Hollywood in the mid 60’s. After that there were no standards and filmmakers could put whatever they want into their films. After so many parental complaints a ratings system was instituted in the early 1970’s.

        Now, why do you insist that nudity and profanity are necessary in films? Most people agree that older films are better than newer ones and a big part of that is they DIDN’T show everything. They left it to you to fill in the gaps. This said more about you than it did about the filmmakers. It also made the audience participate in the story by filling in the gaps.

      • Christopher F Cheney

        August 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

        So what?

      • edmccray

        August 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        So what? The poibt is family films gross more than non family films There’s your so what.

      • edmccray

        August 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm


  12. cynthiamc1

    August 17, 2013 at 10:47 am

    I’ve been told many times that I would have been rich and famous from my writing a long time ago if I would just loosen up my high standards and write filth (my translation of what they were saying). Fingers crossed that the tide is turning and my G and PG scripts/books will start selling.

    • edmccray

      August 17, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      I’ve been told the same thing about my work, Cynthia. I don’t care about being rich and famous. I’d just like to be able to create full time. I’ll be praying that your work gets out there too. 🙂

  13. cynthiamc1

    August 17, 2013 at 10:49 am

    PS – So proud of you! Brings back fond memories of those long nights at Gideon in Asheville of all of us dreamers talking into the wee hours about how to make the industry better – love it when one of us has success!

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks, Cynthia! I have fond memories of Gideon, too. We CAN do this!

  14. Joe

    August 17, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Hey Rebecca,

    I work in scripted television and film, and I disagree with this article quite a bit. I think it very much oversimplifies the media industry.

    First off, worldview does NOT drive production, money does. Capitalism is king. This cliché belief in the liberal media, with a liberal agenda and liberal this liberal that.. I don’t believe it. TV networks and movie producers want to make money, and to do that they are going to give people what they want. It seems the people have said they want sex and violence. People love comic movies right now, and they are spending millions of dollars to see them. Game of Thrones is violent and sexual, and making boatloads of money. People love the show and they are going to keep making it. I think if Game of Thrones was losing money, they’d shut it down. After all its all about the ratings. And ratings equals $$. That means ABC and other networks are trying to copy these concepts to compete for that dollar. Every show I’ve worked on that had low ratings was cancelled, and every show I’ve worked on with high ratings gets renewed, no matter how many sex scenes there are or aren’t. I think people are genuinely interested in story and that will keep people watching, not gratuitous sex.

    I have many producer and writer friends and I have not heard these faith based complaints about selling their scripts and stories.

    Saying that your friends’ scripts are good and rejected because of a faith based concept may or may not be true. But I’ve read some of these scripts, and the problem with a lot of “family” scripts, particularly “Christian” scripts, is that they are whitewashed. They simply are not good. The drama is forced, dialogue sounds fake, there is beating over the head of faith based concepts and moral arguments, and it feels like a propaganda piece. These will not appeal to a mass audience. Therefore they won’t get ratings, they won’t make money and they don’t get made.

    That doesn’t have to be the case. For instance, I watch “The Incredibles” with or without the kids, because its a great piece of work. I like Modern Family and think there are some real family messages in the show. Maybe not always for an 8yr old, but 12yr old is fine. Both are successful because people watched and loved the story and characters.

    It seems like your ultimate argument is, “I feel like most tv is liberal propaganda, so we should make shows that are conservative propaganda”. That argument frightens me. Beck is obviously a biased man. I’m not sure his making content will make for a better viewing option. But I don’t believe that most producers will just insert sex scenes into a bad script and the use that idea over a very good and marketable family script.

    • edmccray

      August 19, 2013 at 5:27 am

      While I agree with you that many Christian made films are like that they don’t have to be. I always say look to the films of old where they told intelligent stories without showing everything. A family audience could at one time see any film and everyone enjoyed it. There was no white washing in these pictures and many of them hold up today.

      I have been personally told, when pitching a script, that I needed to include more swear words and skin to make it more “real”. I’ve also had friends in the industry tell me this too. A lot of their scripts were LACED with the F-word. I didn’t notice people peppering their language with that word in public until about 10 years ago. That word USED to be said in private or behind closed doors. Now it’s everywhere. So is this a case of Hollywood reflecting real life or influencing real life?

      I think this material is included because Hollywood thinks all of America behaves this way. We may now but we didn’t used to. People may watch a show for the story but the producers still have leeway to slip in the sex scene or profanity as they choose. I find a lot of that forced myself. It’s like it’s seen as necessary by those making this stuff.

      Ratings may be a driving force in the renewal or cancellation of a show but it cannot be denied that TV networks aren’t enjoying the same ratings they had even 10 years ago. Some claim it’s because of more options available but TV viewing has been on a steady decline for some time.

      I’d also suggest that many projects are made to influence the culture. This past fall with great fanfare there were several gay sitcoms that debuted. They were all cancelled within weeks but the spin in the media was about how “bigoted” America is for not watching. If Hollywood had been paying attention to voter turn outs and polls on this issue they shouldn’t have been surprised when these shows failed. There was a time when Hollywood made material people wanted to see. Now they make stuff that very few Americans watch and the networks fight over the pittance of people who do still watch. CBS famously cancelled all of their hit TV sitcoms in the early 70’s because they were being made fun of by their peers for all of the “rural” programing. But America was enjoying Mayberry, Green Acres, the Beverly Hillbillies, and other “rural” sitcoms. These shows were not cancelled because of declining ratings but because of what OTHER industry insiders thought of them. Why is today any different?

      If only capitalism drives the film industry then how do you explain the higher number of R rated films made when they rarely turn the kind of business that a PG or PG-13 movie garners? If it were truly all about making money wouldn’t we see more of these types of films being made that statistically make more money?

      You can make a film that shares our values while not being propaganda. Why is it propaganda when a conservative does it and perfectly legit when it’s a liberal perspective?

      The Incredibles is a great example. I like that film too but I find it forced and murky on that whole thread of Bob having an affair. By murky I mean they were not clear if that’s what Helen suspected or what. It could have been handled in a better way and I think that it feels forced the way they presented it. When something doesn’t come off so well like this example it might be best to leave it out of the story or, to quote Mel Brookes, if you’re going to ring that bell then ring that bell. The subject of extramarital affairs probably has no place in a family film.

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 19, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Hi, Joe. Thanks for your comment. I agree that – just as with scripts written by non-Christians – there is plenty of bad writing out there. However, I strongly, strongly urge you to get a copy of Primetime Propaganda by Ben Shapiro. Capitalism is not king (much as it should be, to give consumers power over content). Ideology is king, capitalism is its prince. If the ideology in the show is correct, THEN it is important that it bring in audience share. The idea that ABC is ever going to be worried about keeping the lights on just makes no sense. The war chest can withstand years and years of dissatisfied viewers – and has.

      Repeatedly, the public has showed with its choices that it does not want content that includes graphic violence and sex. And yet that’s exactly what gets re-packaged and put on the air Fall after Fall after Fall, only to be canceled. If studios wanted viewers (not the “right kind” of viewers, just viewers), it wouldn’t continually repackage sex under a different title and slap it down in primetime. But networks do that every single Fall, only to cancel those shows after a few episodes. Why do they keep trying, when it costs so much? Because, eventually, viewers decide, “Well, it’s not as bad as that other show and there’s only a little bit of highly offensive content,” and we accept it. That’s how we got where we are today. A little bit at a time. Desensitized every step of the way.

      Please note, none of this is a reason to check out or stop creating content. If anything, it’s a reason to dig in and make more. Not because “conservative propaganda” is better than “liberal propaganda” – but because viewers should get to choose content that reflects their values. And, right now, for a conservative, that is getting WAY too close to impossible.

  15. Sahm King

    August 18, 2013 at 3:42 am

    While I’m not necessarily for what you would like to see, because my tastes are varied and extreme, I am for less of an influence by those who have the power, and more of a choice from those who have the power.

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks for that, Sahm!

  16. Jack

    August 18, 2013 at 4:27 am

    As a Christian, perhaps you could point to me all the places in the New Testament where Jesus talks about sex and his views against it? I’ve read plenty about Him speaking out against violence, the rich, not helping the poor, etc but absolutely nothing on Him speaking about the evils of sex.

    • edmccray

      August 19, 2013 at 3:40 am

      He did speak about modesty and that is the same thing.

    • Christine

      August 20, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      He told the adulterous woman, “Go and sin no more.” Sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin.

    • Kylie

      August 20, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Jack, regardless of religion, it’s fairly easy to recognize the negative ramifications of exploiting children to graphic material. At an early age, children’s brains experience neuroplasticity, meaning early childhood is an imperative time for brain development, they literally are like sponges soaking in everything in regards to their environment. Research has shown numerous negative effects of children being exposed to pornographic material. It doesn’t take a Christian to realize that by improving the media we in turn improve our future.

  17. Diane M

    August 18, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Hi…I want to commend you for your diligence and efforts regarding this matter….these kinds of things are worth fighting for. we need to protect our kids…….you go girl!

  18. Eric N

    August 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you so much for your anger and action towards Good Morning America. I have been growing increasingly frustrated by what I have been seeing on the airwaves lately. ABC is selling it’s programing to the liberal viewer who has little regard for what many of us know as good and wholesome. I fear that what we see happening is bigger than we know presently, and is more of an alliance with an agenda. In other words, they are politically correct!

    • softballumpire

      August 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      lol how you religion nuts also blame liberals. Yet you have no issues with guns.

      • edmccray

        August 19, 2013 at 3:40 am

        And just what IS the issue with guns? There is none. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If people had stronger morals then they wouldn’t kill other people and how do morals get eroded?

  19. Morrisey

    August 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Rebecca calls Glen Beck ‘brilliant’. That says everything you need to know about her.

  20. Eric N

    August 18, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Morrisey~That says everything we need to know about you! Thanks, but no thanks!

  21. edmccray

    August 19, 2013 at 3:38 am

    Killing an animal is NOT violence. It’s called hunting for food in order to eat and survive. That’s not violent.

  22. sirjanerussell

    August 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

    Conservatives never lacked for power or ability to influence, which is why the arguments about liberal control of the media always ring false. If the conservative ideal of entertainment fails, it’s because not enough people want it. Conservatives didn’t just arrive on the scene and it’s not like they have no powerful commercial interests on their side, yet they’ve spent decades bemoaning their inability to dominate the culture. Must be some shadowy conspiracy in Hollywood, huh? Or, it could be that conservative ideals of culture are out of step with the majority of people. I don’t disagree with the reaction to that commercial, but if the conservative message was what people really wanted in their pop-culture, it would be there. Stop seeking a conspiracy theory to explain everything you don’t like.

  23. Christopher F Cheney

    August 19, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Edmccry- You got to be kidding me there no issues with guns there plenty of issues with guns. 1. You people don’t care for safety 2. Don’t care for Violence shown on tv/movies 3. really wouldn’t need to owned a gun in first place.

  24. Geoff

    August 19, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Rebecca, thanks for your stand on this issue of selling soft porn to the general population. ABC, in attempting to increase shareholder profits, has hoodwinked the FCC, but not the watchful mothers and families that fight to raise their kids in a wholesome fashion. National TV during summer daytime is not the place to advertise nude soft-porn. That is not to say that these “worthwhile programs” should be banned. They should be available to those that seek them, but in the proper place and time—in the same way that Sesame Street is scheduled for mornings and not prime night slots.

    I thank you also—in taking the stand that you have—for reminding us that one person can make a difference; she or he can have a say in what happens in their life, in their community and nationally. In the 200 + years since our founding, we as a nation have gotten soft. We have fallen under the spell of those who believe social and economic life can be planned perfectly by those chosen few we have appointed or elected.

    It can’t. Correct planning can be a valuable tool, but the individuals and markets of the world will always make the cold hard decisions that political representatives avoid. History has shown us this time and time again, but we like the soft feel of our own couch rather than the risky, agonizing path of individual participation. The Internet has offered us a second chance to take back personal decisions from Washington. Let’s hope we grab the chance like you have, Rebecca.

    • Rebeca Seitz

      August 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

      Beautifully said, Geoff. Thank you!

  25. Allen Miller

    August 19, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    As I read this it really hits me that this is part of the bigger liberal agenda. Let’s take God out of everything and call it offensive if you try to pray to God in public. You are a hater if you believe marriage is between one man and one woman. Your are racist if you believe affirmative action has gone to far. Now if you believe TV network have gone to far with the sexual images they portray then we call us nut jobs. It is time that the few that don’t want to our Christian values bother them start their own football leagues, TV stations, movie theaters and studio’s. It is time to stop letting the few have all the voices that are heard and we take back our country that was founded on Christian values.

    • sirjanerussell

      August 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

      Please realize that “your” country has already been “taken back.” It’s not your beliefs that are the problem, it’s your desire to “take it back” from the majority of us who are more comfortable where all those things stand. It’s this idea that Christians have some greater claim to America than agnostics or non-Christians do that rankles.

  26. Vince

    August 20, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Yes, I think you’re right on the money. Truth is, the public airwaves are – in theory at least – ours – not theirs. Yes the networks have abdicated their responsibility to the public good and we (collectively) have let them. While I think you and I may have somewhat different ideas of what belongs on the air, I agree completely that the answer is not to boycott, but to raise the bar. Personally, I think we need to call for programs that provide healthy alternatives to violent resolution of conflicts. Shows about war machines, battle heroes and the like may seem on the surface to be innocent enough, but it simply teaches children that violence is the way out of conflict. I would love to see the demise of reality shows – all of them – that use rejection as entertainment. It teaches all the wrong things (if we are really listening to the words of Jesus) – it teaches win at all costs, losers are forgotten, the spotlight is the goal – I could go on and on. Finally, I would advocate programs that lift up the arts (and here is where you and I might differ, because that would include healthy, tasteful, respectful figurative art.) I mention this for two reasons – one, our children are coming to believe that excellence in art means commercial/popculture… We can do SO much better and make it great fun in the process! The reason I advocate the figurative arts is that we are so overly reactive about the human body in large measure because our Puritan ancestors taught us to – that if a body is unclothed she must be up to something. Our bodies do many things besides procreate. Our mouths do more than just eat – we speak, we sing, we smile, kiss, whistle, taste, savor, you get the idea. What if someone came along and taught everyone that the mouth is evil because it is the path to gluttony? How sad it would be. That is exactly what we have accepted as fact about the human body in this culture – and introducing the arts to children early would help dispel the unhealthy attitudes that the Puritans authored and the Christian right has championed. The reason you and so many others reacted so strongly is that you (all of us, really) have been taught to, but it is nonsense – as most of Europe well knows. I can say this with some degree of certainty because I was raised Catholic – where we embrace guilt, misery, and shame…. 🙂 We allowed our children to taste wine at dinner – even as young children – and neither of them EVER went through the teenage drinking route. So there you go… Thanks for your post.

    • edmccray

      August 20, 2013 at 4:28 am

      I hate reality TV shows too. The only reason they started getting made was because they were cheap to do. The only one that I think has any merit is Shark Tank because you can see other Americans pitch ideas. It’s really rather interesting. I could care less about Survivor or Big Brother or the like.

      I was never saying that all TV should become preachy about religion but look at the programs of the 1960’s. Many of those programs shared traditional values and were entertaining. People still love those programs today. Look at the sheer volume of memorable shows that were produced in the 1960’s. It’s a literal tsunami of shows. Now think of the 1980’s, 90’s, 2000’s. Just how many shows are memorable? Not many. Why is this number declining instead of rising? I think the last great show was Everybody Loves Raymond and look at how that show was, for the most part, about traditional values. People loved it because they could relate. I don’t see much like that on TV today. I enjoy the character actors on The Big Bang Theory but, of course, they have a lot of sexual content. I think 2 and a Half Men lowered the bar considerably for what is now allowed on TV. That show didn’t turn a profit for 4 or 5 season yet it kept being renewed. Why? People now live that way in their real lives.

      While your Puritan theory is nice I don’t agree with it because of the simple fact that we live in a culture where when people are naked they usually ARE having sex. We have been taught that the peak of dating is the sex act when in the past a lifelong commitment was. The reason the sex was important because it symbolized all that was behind the relationship. Now it’s become so commonplace it’s lost all meaning and is more like a handshake than an expression of love.

      I also couldn’t hold europe up as a prime example of how we should conduct ourselves. The family unit has been on the decline there for decades and this depopulation explosion is migrating here.

  27. coyotev

    August 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    From Disney to Degradation with a capital D for “Devoid of anything Redeeming”, Miley Cyrus says it all:

  28. Mr Steve

    August 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    That’s rather eye-opening. I would have thought the Almighty Dollar was in control of this. Knowing it’s more to do with ideology makes it feel more … sinister.

  29. Victoria Grace Howell

    February 19, 2014 at 2:07 am

    I completely agree. I’m an adult and I’ve steered away from R rated films. I don’t think a film needs severe swearing, sex scenes and profuse gore to be good. Those concepts can be filmed discretely but done so the action is understood. I’ve always said this about movies, shows, plays and books.


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