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Pro-Family Group Outraged Over CSI 'Toy'


By Jimmy Moore
Talon News
November 17, 2004

The pro-family activist group Parents Television Council (PTC) is outraged over a new "toy" line of products aimed at kids 8 and up related to a hit crime drama on CBS.

"CSI," the top-rated television show over the past few years with an average of 26 million viewsers in the United States, is considered the "fifth worst network TV show for families" according to the PTC's Top 10 Best and Worst Report because of its "graphic scenes of blood, violence, and sex."

In an e-mail to supporters on Tuesday, PTC said this kind of content is entirely inappropriate for children to be exposed to "because the CSI franchise often displays graphic images, including close-ups of corpses with gunshot wounds and other bloody injuries."

PTC continued, "Other graphic scenes have depicted cannibalism, a fully nude female corpse, and mutilated victims of a deranged killer. Sexual situations are extremely graphic. In the past, scenes included a brother and sister having sex, men receiving S&M beatings from a dominatrix in a sex club, pornographic snuff films, and a woman making a sex video for her 15-year-old stepson."

In fact, PTC said the November 18 "sweeps week" episode of CSI, which happens to be its 100th since coming on the air, will center around a case of mistaken identity that begins with the murder of a transgender woman who is found brutally stabbed and mutilated. Although a parental advisory will precede the airing of the program, PTC says this attempt to boost ratings by exploring the "fringe world of sex changes and transgenders" is not for family viewing.

The new toy line includes the "CSI: Forensics Lab," which has a microscope and fingerprinting kit, "CSI: DNA Laboratory," and "CSI: Forensic Facial." Each of these "toys" are available to purchase exclusively at Target and Toys 'R' Us.

A statement from CBS says the toy line is geared for "14 and up," but the box clearly shows it is for "Ages 8+."

"The PTC doesn't think the recreation of blood, guts and gore should be under a child's Christmas tree this year," PTC concluded. "This so-called 'toy' is a blatant attempt to market CSI and its adult-oriented content directly to children."

Urging its members to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, PTC said CBS parent company Viacom needs to hear from parents who are concerned about the "graphic scenes of blood, violence, and sex" in their product. They are also asking their supporters to contact Target and Toys 'R' Us.

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