The Parents Television Council objected to the sexual and violent content of “Dirt,” a basic cable offering from FX, owned by News Corporation. It says it convinced over 50 major advertisers to abandon the program and is now claiming credit for its removal from the network’s schedule. PTC President Tim Winter commented, “If advertising dollars won’t support a particular television show, then the network must either edit the show in a way that appeases the advertisers, or else the network must cancel the program entirely. We heard from a number of companies who decided to stop sponsoring the show after being contacted by us. We believe that our efforts clearly had an effect on ‘Dirt’ being cancelled.”
RBR/TVBR observation: We object to PTC’s frequent attempts to influence the government to regulate speech. But if they can pressure companies to change their allegedly evil ways or drop a program entirely, more power to them. However, PTC’s claim this time may need to be taken with a grain of salt. The program’s viewership was in a downward spiral, going from 1.6M in mid-2008 to 1.06M for the season finale. That would constitute a non-PTC reason for shutting down production.