I finally hit the wall tonight as I looked up from my computer work while the TV played in the background and was subjected to the zoomed in close up sight of a bloody severed man’s tongue being presented in a box to a character on ‘The Blacklist’. Just a few minutes earlier I had a plate of food in front of me. I would have certainly had a hard time holding down my meal had that scene played while I was eating. You know that TV has hit the absolute all time low when you have to plan NOT to be eating a meal when “The Blacklist” airs.
This wild slide toward all-out visual depravity on TV has come to the point where it is time for million of viewers to begin saying “NO!” to these scenes. It’s disgusting and it’s uncalled for. There is a way to tell this story without resorting to such displays. The level of violence that we are being subjected to on “primetime television” has escalated steadily in recent years specifically because too few people are speaking their minds and are choosing instead to watch the shows and just try to turn away at the “hideous” parts. The problem is, the “hideous” parts now take up most of the show.
James Spader should not be agreeing to participate in these TV programmed demonstrations of wickedness, cruelty and depravity. He knows better. He’s a seasoned and distinguished actor who shouldn’t just go all along with whatever they tell him he has to portray. Where does it end?
Will we be subjected to live snuff films in TV programming on primetime soon? With all the police shootings it’s already coming close to that. Why aren’t more people speaking out to say ENOUGH already with the explicit stomach turning gore?
I’d like to ask the WP community to please join me in an email social media and online campaign to ask NBC to clean up their TV programming. I’m not willing or interested in watching another single episode of TV that’s so raw and bloody that I nearly lose my dinner.
Here’s how NBC can begin to get a clue: When there is some actual scriptwriting TALENT involved, the show won’t have to resort to the cheap shots that display horror movie moments that turn the entire franchise into not much more than a new version of “Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” And just so you know NBC, I don’t need to watch TV at all. I lived for 8 years without owning one. Period. We can all choose to dump our TV sets in the river and plant flower gardens instead. Script some actual helpful, inspiring, uplifting and innovative dramas and documentaries that don’t revolve around explicit violence and your ratings will start to spike again in the right direction. I would never want any child to learn about adulthood by imitating what he or she was exposed to by watching a TV show like The Blacklist. Some little child or distressed tween someday soon will think it’s ok to try to cut her friend’s tongue out one day while playing in the backyard, because she saw it done on The Blacklist. And the karmic liability and accountability of that moment will fall squarely on the shoulders of NBC when that happens.
Here’s the note I wrote to NBC this evening. If you are as disgusted as I am by what these networks are airing under the very thin guise of “entertainment” then please write NBC and tell them so.
To NBC: I’m XX years old & have been watching NBC all my life. The level of horror, gore & explicit portrayals of violence you are airing on The Blacklist has escalated steadily since the show began. I’ve had to get up and leave the room on more than one occasion while watching the show. I was just subjected to the explicit image of a man’s severed bloody tongue on tonight’s episode. This is ridiculous, disgusting & uncalled for. In millions of homes there are small children sitting watching this show. How dare your executives allow this kind of violent depravity to air on TV disguised as “entertainment.” There is a way to tell this story without stooping to such a low level of sensationalism & gore. I will refuse to watch NBC if you don’t do something about the level of sick images & actions you are portraying in this show. Do something about this. It’s repellent, uncalled for. If you would not let your own children watch – then change it.”