The Parents Television Council is sounding off over the Sons of Anarchy premiere, which featured a school shooting.
During the premiere, portions of the episode followed a young boy through his day. As the season opener drew to a close, the child removed a gun from his backpack, walked inside his school and began shooting as the camera panned over some disturbing imagery in the boy's journal.
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In a post on the PTC website, the group called upon its members to contact Congress to back an á la carte cable option that would give viewers the option to pay for cable channels separately instead of in a package.
"What FX chose to show — a scene of a young boy murdering innocent children in a school with a semi-automatic gun — is enough of a reason for consumers to have the choice not to underwrite such horrifically violent and disturbing material," PTC President Tim Winter said in a statement. "Think about the parents who have been personally affected by real-life school shootings — even they were forced to contribute to FX on their cable bills. This is an outrage, and the time for consumers to have real choice has come."
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"Changing the channel is simply not enough — that's a lazy excuse from the cable industry's own talking points that does not address the real problem," he continued. "Consumers are forced to subsidize cable networks like FX just to get access to networks they do watch. It's clear to see that the cable industry model of forcing consumers to buy bundles of networks is broken. We urge Congress to take seriously the Television Consumer Freedom Act, which will allow consumers the ability to choose and pay for only the cable networks they want, and the Video CHOICE Act, which would pave the way for a choice solution. It's time for consumers to have a real voice in what they want to pay for on their cable bills."
Both series creator Kurt Sutter and FX Networks CEO John Landgraf have gone on record saying that it was never the show's intention to be purposefully gratuitous. Read their full interview here.
Sons of Anarchy airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on FX.