This is a copy of an email I sent out Saturday morning to our local NBC station, Youth for Human Rights, and Qubo (the group responsible for Saturday morning cartoons on NBC).
To whom it may concern,
My name is FarmWife & I am the mother of 4 young children. My oldest child is 6 & my youngest is 5 months. We regularly watch Qubo on WTWO channel 2 out of Terre Haute, IN. My children love the shows. I'm thrilled that you are showing Veggie Tales, 3-2-1 Penguins, & Larry-Boy along with other educational and uplifting programs. The programming is something I've felt safe letting them watch, until today.
While watching Dragon (which is obviously geared towards very young children) an ad from Youth for Human Rights came on. On the TV was a terrified man bound & blindfolded, tied to a post with a knife to his throat, guns pointed at him, men screaming at him. My six year old ran from the room, ears covered, nearly in tears. My four year old & three year old were horrified. I was shocked. I thought some how the channel had been changed & they were now watching something they're not allowed to watch. When I realized the commercial was for a youth organization & they were still watching Dragon, I was livid.
I understand the need to get children involved at a young age. I support the efforts of groups fighting against the atrocities shown on the commercial. But I cannot sit silently by & allow this to be viewed by my young children. Why is it necessary to show something so graphic & unsettling during a show Rated TV-Y? Can it not be left to parents to introduce this subject matter to their children when & if they find it appropriate? I don't know if I've missed this commercial in the past, but I now know I can't let my kids watch your shows any longer for fear of what they'll see during commercial breaks.
I'm sending this email to the local station we were watching, the group that produced the show we were watching, & the group responsible for the ad. I ask that you all reconsider what ads you show & more importantly, when they are shown.
This morning I received 2 emails from the local station. The first read:
I am researching to see if this was a psa run locally, or nationally.
And the second read:
Thanks to your complaint we are contacting the Ad Council for some new Public Service Announcements. The spot you saw was also provided by the Ad Council, but we agree we can find some spots that are more "kid friendly".
Both were from the EVP/COO of Nexstar Broadcasting Group.
It's good to know someone was listening. I'll let you know if I get a response from the other two organizations.