Do They Have A Point? The PTC Says ‘Scandal’ Torture Scenes Display Irresponsibility and Insensitivity To Newtown Victims

January 15, 2013  |  

Source: ABC

If you’ve had the privilege of tuning in for last week’s episode of Scandal, you probably witnessed the somewhat graphic scenes of character Huck being water tortured and brutally beaten by what appear to be members of the CIA in relation to his possible involvement in the attempted assassination of the President. Many found the scenes to be a tad gruesome, but bearable. However, according to, The Parents Television Council has come out saying these scenes were not only inappropriate, but insensitive to Sandy Hook victims and in violation of the content-rating system.

“For nearly three minutes, viewers were subjected to graphic and disturbing scenes of a man struggling to breathe while being waterboarded, his nose being broken and his face beaten into a bloody mess, blood spattering on the walls, and being kicked and beaten into submission.”

“The brutal nature of that scene, which was rated as appropriate for a 14-year-old child, refutes statements made by an industry claiming to be responsible and concerned about societal violence,” the organization released in a statement last Monday.

They went on to say that the scenes were insensitive to those who are still trying to cope with the Sandy Hook tragedy.

“It is sickening just how quickly the entertainment industry was able to move past the tragedy of Newtown and get back to business as usual,” expressed Tim Winter, PTC president.

Not only is the organization speaking out against the show, but they are calling on the Obama administration to get behind them in their efforts to provoke “real responsibility from those who produce and distribute violent media content as well as real reform of the failed TV ratings system.” ABC has declined to comment on the PTC’s statement.

While I agree that Scandal does not seem like a show that is appropriate for a 14-year-old, one would assume that a child that age would be in bed by the time the show comes on and possibly not even allowed by their parents to watch a show titled “Scandal”.

Do you agree with the Parents Television Council? Were the “Huck” scenes insensitive to Sandy Hook victims or are people simply protesting because they have an outlet to do so?

Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise 

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Incredulous

    On what planet do 14 year olds currently go to bed 10PM?

  • nursej

    I’m sorry did I miss something? Not to sound insensitive, but were the teachers and students at Sandy Hook water boarded to death? I’m lost…shoulder shrugs

  • TamHill78

    This show is outside of the family TV time anyway. My kids are certainly in bed by 10pm, and this is not a show that children should be watching. How can a CIA torture scene be insensitive to the Sandy Hook Victims? That is ridiculous!!

  • Guest360

    PTC needs to go somewhere. First of all, they put an advisory on at the very beginning of the show, something they don’t usually do so you had to know last week’s episode was going to be graphically violent. Especially given the promos were showing Huck being bloodied and badly beaten for 4 WEEKS prior to the show actually airing. A 14 year old shouldn’t be watching Scandal anyway regardless of last week’s show so I don’t know what they’re even talking about. And how is it insensitive to Sandy Hook victims? Huck was captured under the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act was never used during the shooting at Sandy Hook. As usual, PTC likes to jump on any and everything regardless of what it is and who is actually watching it.

  • Coccohanel31

    UMM WHAT?? TWO TOALLY DIFFERENT INCIDENTS!! WTH! Had someone shot up a school yes , I would see a connection, otherwise, the only ones who should be hurt or offended are members of the military and or those persons waterboarded themselves..the rest is nonesense.

  • KG

    parents need to be parents and monitor what their children are watching and STOP allowing tv to
    raise their kids. I’m 30 and when I was growing up I was not allowed to have a
    tv in my room until I was 13 years old because my parents wanted to know what I
    was watching… When a show thought to be okay for me to watch came on my parents
    were sitting right there with me, so if they as parents deemed it was in fact
    NOT okay for me to watch they turned it off. Ratings are a suggestion not law
    if something’s rated for your teen it’s your responsibility as a parent to
    screen that show and make sure it’s actually okay for what you see fit for your
    own child.. this politically correct crap is out of control and I’m still super
    confused as to how water boarding has anything to do with a mass shooting, people stop using US tragedies to push your own personal agenda. And I pray for the sake of our country that
    Obama has better things to do than make laws about tv when it would be so
    simple for you as a parent to just control the remote, further more your brat
    should be sleep when this show comes on anyway.

  • They are absolutely RIDICULOUS! The world cannot stop because that happened. Yes, it is very sad, but those scenes has absolutely NOTHING to do with Sandy Hook. I faithfully watch Scandal and not one time in this episode did someone walk into a school and shoot children. People need to quit their madness. Violence happens on television and in movies, that is not what causes CRAZY mofos to go kill others. They need to quit finding things to blame and just accept the fact that the KILLER was PSYCHO.

  • I’m confused as to how one has anything to do with the other. If anything, the scene where Fitz was shot could be construed as being insensitive to the whole sandy hook situation. Seems to me they’re just grasping at straw here. I’m OFFENDED by them using this for their own gain. Funny how they are so offended by fake torture/waterboarding on a show, but saw nothing wrong with waterboarding in real life. They better take up their cause w/ ABC Family and Pretty Little Liars, a show actively targeted to kids/teens.

  • Jescraig

    How did that scenario relate to Sandy Hook (school shooting)?

  • @tlas

    How long does tv have to be censored to pay respect to the Sandy Hook shootings? Family Guy, American Dad, Jack Reacher, Django Unchained were all shows/movies that were postponed to pay respect to the shootings. Call me insensitive, but there are worst things out there that children are seeing that can’t be controlled. If there are graphic scenes on tv a parent need only change the channel.

  • Candace Kendall-Browne

    The answer is easy. Turn off the TV!!

  • On_Point

    Parents Television Council please have several seats.

  • genii love

    Sandy Hook…Scandal…COMPLETELY UNRELATED. Period. stop the nonsense

  • Merriegirl

    umm Scandal airs at 10PM, so you should be able to keep your young children from watching it if you choose too. The way that they interrogated him was gruesome but its a reality of what this country is willing to do, to get “necessary” information out of people.

  • Reese

    Ummmm yes the torture scenes were a little intense. But I don’t see how they could connect it back to Sandy Hook. Can somebody explain that connection to me? I have seen much more violent stuff on TV since Sandy Hook happened. This just shows me that people in our society get too worked up over the wrong stuff.

  • Dee

    Zero dark thirty has torture scenes and was released into theaters after the shooting. Where is their uproar on that? If your kid is watching Scandal then you are doing something wrong.

    • Reese

      That is true, I know a lady who daughter is thirteen and this child tweeted that she wanted a man like Fitz. For one, why does she have a twitter? And for two, why is she watching Scandal? And for three, what does she know about wanting a man?

  • kickash

    I think they are just mad because there is some truth to that scene. This country is very corrupt and they treat suspects with barbaric brutality such as that. This scene was not related to the tragedies in any way and like someone said before those scenes were filmed a while ago.



  • NikkitaMichelle

    The show did release a warning that the program was going to include graphic images for that night’s airing. Those images were in no way similar to what happened in Newtown. Those who do see a parallel between Newtown and Scandal are probably asking for all movies that include violence be taken off the air and for all citizens to turn in their guns.

  • kierah

    Head to the corner and face the wall, PTC!

    While the scene was graphic, I didn’t see how it related to Newtown at ALL. Those who were most affected by the tragic shooting probably don’t watch a lot of TV right now, because there are plenty of shows that would trigger memories.

    Your children need to be in the bed at 10:00 anyway. Quit using the tragedy at Sandy Hook to further your own agenda and justify your reason for existing at all.

    • Toya

      Ha! Haven’t heard that since kindergarten

  • Was the world supposed to stop forever? Hate to sound cruel but life goes on, we are supposed to move on.

  • KayBee

    From Wikipedia, “The Parents Television Council (PTC) is a United States-based conservative advocacy group founded by conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III in 1995 using the National Legion of Decency as a model.” That’s all I need to know. A leading primetime show starring a black actress who actively campaigns for Barack Obama shows a scene that that allows people to see what waterboarding is like is being demonized by a conservative organization. This is not a surprise. Waterboarding has nothing to do with Sandy Hook. The “Parents Television Council” should be ashamed of using the lives of little children to further their agenda.

  • Trisha_B

    Yes people are still grieving over Sandy Hook, but everything can’t be on hold. This episode was filmed awhile ago, they couldnt just scrap it. & why complain about that scene, but dont complain about the scene of the president getting shot? Isnt that in closer relation? These pc groups are becoming too much. Dont like it, dont watch. It only comes on 1 channel, once a week

  • Nicole

    And Sylvester Stallone’s new movie, “Bullet To The Head” is extremely insensitive to those who are still trying to cope with the Sandy Hook tragedy and the Colorado movie theater massacre. But I guess people are choosing to over look that.

    • Nu

      AGREED. D’jango was very bloody, violent, and had a ton of scenes with gun violence, some even “random acts of violence” that’s more in direct correlation to the Sandy Hook tragedy than Scandal. but that was overlooked as well. PTC can’t pick and choose which avenue of violence it wants to oppose. Oppose it all if you’re that concerned.

      • BricCity

        Actually it wasn’t. One of their premieres was cancelled because of te relation. Which I honestly don’t see! Django is a look into a time in America that existed. Similar to Scandal, it is based off facts. Problem I have is, neither is connected to children, neither should be VIEWED by children unless parents approve. It is sickening how these conservative groups are coming out of the woodworks with what is ‘offensive’ or not and using the SandyHook tragedy as momentum. Where are they the rest f the year when tragedies like this aren’t at the forefront of everyone’s minds?? In conclusion? Don’t like it? Then don’t watch don’t support. Want to protect children? Do YOUR part.

        • Nu

          Oh ok. Good point.

      • KG

        i agree! Gangster Squad had just about non stop gun shots for 2 hours which is much closer to the sandy hook tragedy than water boarding and i haven’t heard a peep about the gun violence in it

  • Ms. Bee

    There will always be someone that will be unsatisfied with something in the world. That’s no surprise. They can chill though. Think Scandal is graphic? Don’t let your kids watch it. Think it’s insensitive? Then YOU don’t watch it.

    But I tune in every Thursday.

    • Pivyque

      Thank you. This show has nothing to do with the shooting so these people need to turn the channel if they want to watch something more pleasant.

    • Kenedy

      You’re right! My condolences to all Sandy Hook victims & their families….but how does a CIA torture scene in a fictional show have anything to do with the school shootings? I guess people will find anything to complain about