It would seem as though Ryan Murphy is not making any friends with the fifth season of American Horror Story and his new Fox comedy, Scream Queens. The online Conservative group, Parents Television Council, released a statement basically saying that American Horror Story: Hotel is the worst thing on television. AHS: Hotel was singled out due to the events in its premiere episode that aired on October 7th. PTC leader Tim Winter claimed,
"This is the most vile and shocking content I've ever seen on TV. Ever."
Winter's email to group members called for viewer and advertiser boycotts of the FX anthology series. He also made a point to single out Subway and McDonald's and called for boycotts of the fast-food restaurant chains in an attempt to get the companies to drop their commercials from the telecast. There was also some griping over the bloody and sexual nature of Scream Queens, as well as the fact that it's rated TV-14 and airs before 8pm.
So is a boycott in order?
I am a fan of AHS and I can admit the whole rape and blood orgy thing in the premiere was a bit unnecessary, even for a cable show. However, I don't believe calling for boycotts like this really help. All it does is draw more attention to what people want to be ignored. The bottom line is you need to remember what you're watching. What else might you expect from a horror-themed show with a TV-MA rating? This show isn't meant to be watched by young children or even teenagers and it airs at 10pm EDT. It also airs a viewer discretion warning following each commercial break.
It's becoming more and more evident that American Horror Story is relying mostly on shock value to stay relevant and to push the envelope farther than the previous season. They want to keep our attention and make us uncomfortable. With what happened in the premiere episode, all I can say is that it's working. In five seasons of the show I would say this is probably the most graphic so far, but it doesn't really surprise me. Show creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have been pushing the limits with AHS since it began in 2011.
As for Scream Queens, I only watched the pilot episode and I wouldn't say it was overly inappropriate. Sure, there was a theme of murder and weird stalker boys on campus, but what teenage show doesn't have themes that are a bit out there? It wasn't any more scandalous than Glee, Awkward, Teen Wolf, Pretty Little Liars, or any other TV show available to the YA crowd.
You can't police your children 24/7, but it's really up to individual parents what their children watch. Parental locks exist for a reason as do wifi passwords. If people don't want their children watching these shows then they should put the power back in their hands and take care of it. They shouldn't just call for boycotts and start social media campaigns. It's not the network's job to babysit your children and control what they see or don't see. That's your job.