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Parents' group attacks ABC for 'graphic' 'Scandal' torture scene

January 14, 2013|By Scott Collins
  • Guillermo Diaz, Darby Stanchfield, background, and Kerry Washington in ABC's "Scandal."
Guillermo Diaz, Darby Stanchfield, background, and Kerry Washington… (Danny Feld/ABC )

The debate over violence on TV is heating up, with a parents' group attacking ABC for a "graphic and disturbing" torture scene on the political drama "Scandal."

"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 Parents Television Council wrote in a statement Monday. The PTC has repeatedly clashed with TV networks over content it deems overly violent or sexual.

"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 statement added.

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The torture scene, which recalls that in the Oscar-nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty," involves Huck (Guillermo Diaz), who is arrested and accused of trying to assassinate the president. 

Through a spokeswoman, ABC declined to comment on the PTC statement.

A public debate over violence in entertainment has instensified since a recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The same day that the "Scandal" episode aired, ABC Entertainment chief Paul Lee told reporters that his job was to get a "sense of what the culture is feeling" on an issue such as violence.

What do you think of the PTC's criticisms?

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