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Marvel, Batman, Green Arrow and other comic book TV shows 'no longer safe for kids,' according to Parents Television Council

In fact, the report said some broadcast TV shows 'expose kids to extreme graphic violence, death and profanity.'

Grant Gustin stars as "The Flash," the world's fastest man. The CW series' second season is now on DVD.
Grant Gustin stars as "The Flash," the world's fastest man. The CW series' second season is now on DVD.
DC/Warner Home Video

SALT LAKE CITY — The Parents Television Council, a conservative media watchdog group, just released a new analysis that found several superhero and comic book-themed TV shows are no longer safe for kids.

In fact, the report said some broadcast TV shows “expose kids to extreme graphic violence, death and profanity.”

The Parents Television Council spent the last seven years researching comic-book themed television shows that are aimed at children and young adults. The group found:

  • 6,000 total incidents of violence among all shows included in the analysis.
  • More than 500 deaths in all of the shows.
  • About 2,000 uses of profanity across all shows.
  • “Arrow” on The CW was the most violent program with 1,241 acts of violence, 310 deaths, 280 uses of gun violence and 26 torture scenes. It also had 492 profanities.
  • “Gotham” on Fox had 35 explicit or gory scenes, 144 deaths, 13 torture scenes and more than 1,100 acts of violence.
  • “Black Lightning” on The CW had 19 deaths, 111 profanities and 212 acts of violence in only eight episodes.
  • Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Agent Carter” and “Inhumans” had a combined 1,194 moments of violence and 115 deaths. The shows had a combined 254 uses of profanity despite the show being rated TV-PG.

What they’re saying: “Children are inherently attracted to comic book characters, and parents who grew up with those characters won’t recognize them today, given the steady flow of extreme violence and adult content saturating comic book-themed programs. Instead of goodness we have darkness; instead of virtue we have violence; instead of innocence we have debauchery. It is distressing that broadcast TV shows based on child-beloved comic book franchises are not safe for kids to watch,” PTC President Tim Winter said in a statement on the analysis.

Method: PTC researched shows in November, February and during the May “sweeps” period from Nov. 2012 to May 2019, reviewing 293 shows in general. The shows equated to about 300 hours of total programming. The report looked at these shows:

  • “Gotham” (Fox)
  • “Arrow” (The CW)
  • “Black Lightning” (The CW)
  • “The Flash” (The CW)
  • “Supergirl” (The CW)
  • “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow" (The CW)
  • “Riverdale” (The CW)
  • “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (ABC)
  • “Marvel’s Agent Carter” (ABC)
  • “Marvel’s Inhumans” (ABC)