Parents group slams Miley Cyrus, MTV

A socially conservative advocacy group expressed outrage on Monday over the adult content of the MTV Video Music Awards and accused the cable channel of marketing sex to children.

The Parents Television Council, which frequently criticizes profanity and sexuality in the media, said Sunday night's awards show demonstrates why Congress should pass legislation to allow consumers to drop individual cable channels they don't want. 

The group blasted MTV for airing a suggestive dance by former child star Miley Cyrus and condom commercials during a show that was rated as appropriate for children as young as 14.

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“This much is absolutely clear: MTV marketed adults-only material to children while falsely manipulating the content rating to make parents think the content was safe for their children," Dan Isett, the group's director of public policy, said in a statement. “MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate ‘twerking’ in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?"

Jeannie Kedas, a spokewoman for MTV, declined to comment on the accusations.

The Parents Television Council often rallies its supporters to lodge complaints with the Federal Communications Commission over allegedly indecent content on broadcast television. But because the Video Music Awards were on cable, the FCC has no authority to fine MTV for indecency.

Instead, the group urged Congress to pass the Television Consumer Freedom Act, a bill from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would pressure cable providers to allow their customers to pick and choose the channels they pay for. Cable providers generally require customers to choose a bundle of channels. 

Isett said the bill would give parents "a real solution for future MTV VMA programs."

"After MTV’s display last night, it’s time to give control back to consumers,” he said.

McCain's bill, which faces opposition from broadcasters and cable providers, has yet to gain momentum in the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over media regulation.