One of TV’s most vocal watchdog groups is calling on NBC to change the air time of Sunday’s Miley Cyrus concert special and rate the program for mature audiences only. . .or not broadcast it at all.
But San Antonio’s NBC affiliate, WOAI, is sure its network won’t be pulling — or delaying — the 8 p.m. two-hour special, “Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour.”
WOAI general manager John Seabers went on to assure viewers that the program “will follow FCC guidelines absolutely.”
“Is she going to do twerking or something like that?” he added. “I don’t know. But my guess is that because this is controlled in a different way, you’ll see a more broadcast friendly program.”
The head of the Parents Television Council (PTC) doesn’t agree, pointing out that Cyrus is famous for her sexually provocative material and that 9 p.m. — 8 p.m. in San Antonio and a large percentage of the rest of the country — is still considered family viewing time, when such objectionable programs shouldn’t air.
“Miley Cyrus built her career on the backs of teens, ‘tweens’ and their parents. But the content of her Bangerz Tour is wildly inappropriate for children and families, and NBC knows it,” PTC president Tim Winter noted in a press release. “Given that her concert performances have been sexually graphic, laced with profanity and celebrating illegal drug use, NBC should reconsider its decision to air this program on the publicly owned airwaves altogether. But if NBC does air the program, then the network has an affirmative obligation not to air it during a time when children are likely to be in the audience, and they must rate the program TV-MA.”
In the same press release, PTC included media descriptions of the Cyrus concert, such as a quote from the New York Daily News, which states that her Bangerz performances started with a parental advisory, warning explicit content, before she went on “to ride an oversized hotdog, simulate a sex act on a dancer dressed as Bill Clinton and wear a costume printed with cannabis leaves.”
Though WOAI’s Seabers acknowledged he hasn’t seen the special — which is described as a mix of performance footage from Cyrus’ concerts in Spain and Portugal as well as behind-the-scenes footage of the singer engaging with her crew and fans — he’s confident that the over-the-air broadcast won’t be over-the-top offensive.
“What she does for a broadcast television station is obviously going to be different from what she does in her live shows. . .or on MTV,” Seabers said. “We operate with different standards, and artists and producers are well aware of that fact.”
Besides, he reminded, it’s not live, so “there are elements of constraint. It’s probably produced more with an eye for a youth audience.”
In any event, he added, “parents have the ultimate control.”
In other words, if you’re concerned, either keep your kids from watching or watch with them so you can monitor the content.