We are told to love our neighbors and to be at peace with all men. The human family needs to communicate. In the United States, television and movies have degenerated. The companies that own the studios that produce TV shows and film need to hear from Catholics.
The stories they are telling are more pornographic, contain profanity and present immorality in a neutral or positive light. Some ask, what happened?
In the 1960s, a man would appear on TV who represented the Standards and Practices Department. Their job was to make sure everything you watched was suitable for the entire family. By the end of the 1960s, the demands of the Hippies, Radicals and Anarchists slowly entered TV and movies. They were: “free love” (sex with anyone, married or not), the use of illegal “mind expanding” drugs like LSD, and smoking marijuana, “don’t trust anyone over 30” which meant it was OK to ignore parents, the Church and “the Establishment,” and a general disrespect for authority. They were going to create a Woodstock Nation but what we ended up with is our current culture. Which is what they wanted.
Like it or not, TV and movies advertise people behaving a certain way, which leads some people, especially the young, to see in these behaviors something positive. After all, if you see a bunch of happy, emphasis on happy, people having sex with anyone, cussing and swearing and showing lots of skin, it’s OK, right? It’s cool, right? It looks like fun! Yes, we are told that sin can look glamorous. We can be fooled into thinking we can do a lot of things without thinking about the consequences.
Large companies sometimes advertise their commitment to their community by showing their employees volunteering, or talking about how much money they donated to a local hospital, or teaching people how to read. They want to show that they are giving back to the community and are good and responsible corporate citizens.
My letter to Hollywood would go like this:
Why are you promoting prostitutes, fornicators, idolatry and mean behavior? Aren’t you concerned about parents who are trying to raise their children in an environment that is conducive to developing a strong sense of right and wrong? And by the way, that sense of right and wrong does not go away when they become “adults.” I’m tired of seeing the words “Adult Language” before a TV program. You assume I have a choice to make. I don’t. I will reject this type of program every single time. If I don’t allow cussing and swearing in my house, I don’t want it coming out of my TV either. I’m also tired of the “accuracy” excuse. A documentary is one thing, but what passes for entertainment today is garbage and filth. I would not want even a tiny piece of excrement in my food but that’s what I’m asked to “enjoy” on TV.
You are my neighbor, and it’s not enough for me to just turn it off. I’m asking you neighbor, why? Are these the only stories left to tell? Don’t you see the harm in producing stories that show the worst in people? The sinful, the depraved? Why neighbor? I’ve had bad things happen to me and people I know. I’ve seen people’s lives ruined by making the same bad decisions I’m watching on TV shows that are supposed to be “entertaining.” It’s not. It’s really not. It’s sad to watch people stumbling through their lives the way these people do on these TV shows. I can’t relate to them. They are not role models and they revel in their sinful behavior. From Grey’s Anatomy: “So I’m a dirty whore. So what?” And the lead character drinks tequila and picks up men in bars for anonymous sex.
So neighbor, please consider that the endless sex jokes, the casual sex and dysfunctional relationships between men and women and children contribute nothing of value to our culture. As a Catholic, they are a celebration of all the sinful things I’ve been taught to avoid and an affront to a civilized society. Decency. Respect. Self-restraint. Politeness. These are the things that are needed for a civil society. Needed.
Please reconsider the direction you are heading in. The programs and movies you produce are a hindrance to people and an attack on human respect and dignity.