ABC Under Attack for Torture Scene in Drama Series

Jan 15, 2013  •  Post A Comment

ABC has come under fire for a torture scene that has been described as “graphic and disturbing” in its political drama series “Scandal,” the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports.

The watchdog group Parents Television Council is targeting the network over the violence depicted in the scene, the story reports. In a statement released Monday, the group wrote: "On the very same night that Vice President Joe Biden met with entertainment industry leaders to discuss the issue of media violence and its impact on children, ABC — the television network owned by a company named for Walt Disney — aired an intense, explicit and bloodied torture scene during its show ‘Scandal.’"

The statement adds: "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 piece notes that the torture scene bears a resemblance to one in the Oscar-nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty."

ABC declined to comment for the story.



  1. Whatever happened to “television as fantasy?” Oh my God, get a grip! It is up to parents to police their children’s television viewing, not some extremist right-wing group.

  2. 1) The program airs at 10 p.m., past the “Family Viewing” time period.
    2) The program had a disclaimer at the top of the program.
    3) The program is about adult subjects, not suitable for a child to be viewing under any circumstances.
    4) What the bleep is a child doing up at 10 p.m. on a school night?
    It is time to quit blaming the messenger and to start expecting parent to be responsible for how their own children are raised! (I know, I know, personal responsibility is no longer expected in this country. It’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault.)

  3. Let me get this straight:
    The conservatives behind the Parents Television Council apparently don’t have much objection to torture in our fight against “terrorism” (I don’t remember them speaking out during the Bush/Cheney years), but they object to the dramatic portrayal of our national policy on television on a 10pm drama.
    So: real torture, ok. Fake torture, bad.
    Glad we’ve got THAT settled.

  4. I wish the PTC would realize they are they, as parents, are the only ones responsible for what their children watch on TV. Stop blaming others for what you are supposed to control. Stop abdicating your role as a parent. This was entertainment, at an hour that does not reach many children. You see far worse on the news. I’m sick of these so called advocates thinking they represent anyone but themselves.

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