The premiere of the newly re-vamped "America's Got Talent" -- complete with an East Coast relocation and more importantly, the addition of shock jock Howard Stern -- is just days away. But while it may be inevitable, the Parents Television Council (PTC) is doing its best to fight the return of the talent competition anyway.
In excerpts from letters PTC president Tim Winter claims to have sent to 91 former "America's Got Talent" advertisers, he explained the group's problem with the self-proclaimed King of All Media joining the show.
"Programs like 'AGT' have offered millions of American families a brief respite from the otherwise-ubiquitous stream of violent, profane and sexually-explicit content on primetime broadcast television," a message posted to the PTC's website begins.
But the watchdog group fears those days are no more thanks to the "vile antics" of Stern.
"Stern’s reputation for sleaze and misogyny is well known," according to the excerpts. "And to our knowledge his only previous judging experience consisted of looking at insecure, naked young women and telling them whether or not they were hot enough to pose for Playboy."
Which is, evidently, what inspired the PTC to contact the sponsors and attempt to warn them away from Stern's "obscene and grotesque material."
"Does his decades-long penchant for profanity, his affinity for degrading and sexualizing women, and his proclivity for vulgar and explicit dialog, accurately reflect your corporate values?" advertisers were asked before the PTC answered the question for them. "The risk of associating your hard-earned corporate brand image with such 'shock' is not worth the cost involved -- a cost not just in terms of wasted media dollars, but also in terms of countless millions of dollars in customer goodwill."
Of course, this isn't the first message the group has delivered about Stern's inclusion on the "America's Got Talent" panel. Shortly after the news first broke in December of last year, Winter blasted the decision.
As for Stern, he responded to that ruckus during an appearance on the show of former "Talent" judge Piers Morgan.
"Whatever you think of me, I will give you an honest opinion," he said. "My goal is to find real talent, to actually find someone who can become a major superstar."
Not exactly fighting words. In fact, the radio legend seems content to let his performance speak for itself.
Catch Stern and the rest of the "Got Talent" panel when the show returns to NBC on May 14.
Do you think the PTC's warning to advertisers will actually affect "America's Got Talent"? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.
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