The Pros and Cons of Censorship in the Media


It’s the dreaded Sunday afternoon. Piles of homework sit just feet away on your desk, haunting you, signifying the true end to a weekend. The only comfort in the world? Television. With the remote in your hands, you have access to literally everything in the world: dangerous, gory movies, the classic romcoms, racy HBO dramas, even the good, old-fashioned Disney channel is just a click away. Unfortunately, TV channels and movies alike face a common problem that threatens the movies and shows that we love the most: censorship. It is the unspoken problem that the media will most likely have forever. Censorship, which is the ability to suppress material in TV shows and movies that may not be deemed appropriate, affects nearly every form of media. The guts and glory, which could potentially be censored, are what makes reality TV reality TV.

In the past few years, many people have debated over censorship, or the lack of, in the media. America is not called the land of the free for no reason. I think that the media should have the option of censorship, giving them the ability to stream and produce whatever they like.

Parents are the main complainant of the lack of censorship. But, these days, parents have the ability to set parental controls on their television, which filter out the naughty materials that could possibly taint their child’s memory.

Another reason why we don’t exactly need censorship is because we need to experience the “real world.” What would Gone Girl have been like without the gory hookup between Amy and Desi? Sometimes, these moments provide the perfect view to the audience; they get the message across, they complete the plot and they attract viewers.

When you are buying tickets to an R-rated movie, you know very well what you are getting yourself into, right? The media provides you with ample warning signs when they are going to show something inappropriate. These days, even video games are given ratings. TV shows also include a suggested age range in the info box. It is a personal choice to subject yourself to this material. If the media continues to provide these types of warning signs, they should be able to go un-censored.

Do you really want the Kardashians to become G-rated? No censorship in the media allows the audience to experience somewhat raw material and experience a bit of the real world. We all need a little of this in our lives.

– Mary Claire Wilson


Well-rested and suffering from a bad case of bedhead, you head towards the living room on a Saturday morning. Expecting to catch up on your favorite programs, you are startled to find that someone is already occupying your spot on the couch, watching what sounds like quite the thriller. As you draw closer, you are even more shocked to find that your six-year-old brother is watching a Rated R movie.

In today’s media, the proper use of censorship has dwindled significantly; its purpose has been lost in the pursuit of entertainment. A viewer can turn on the TV to a channel such as HBO or ABC and be greeted with a graphic scene that he or she did not want to see. This proves the importance of enforcing censorship. Although everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, I believe there is a limit–one which has been surpassed.

Censorship is especially essential for younger viewers. Adolescents should not be exposed to sensitive content such as graphic scenes or intense racism at such an innocent age. Parents should be able to decide when their children are introduced to these topics. Although some rules prevent adolescents from seeing racy films in theatres, there are many other sources for young viewers to access inappropriate content, such as through the TV or the Internet. If censorship is not enforced, these viewers could adopt negative habits or learn about topics that cause them to lose their innocence, which cannot be regained. Delicate issues should be discussed with children at home because they can get incorrect information from inappropriate sources in the media.

In addition, censorship prevents sensitive content about controversial issues such as religion or ethnicity from being discussed or shown to viewers. Members of the audience may be offended by scenes displaying violence, disrespect of foreign cultures or the use of foul language or dangerous substances.The public should be able to avoid seeing any material that will make them uncomfortable or offended.

Although some productions display a warning before a potentially controversial scene is shown, there is often no further censoring. If a viewer turns on the TV after a show or movie has already begun, the threat of being exposed to a sensitive topic is still imminent.

Censorship exists for the betterment of society, not the inhibiting of it. And at the end of the day, is complete freedom really worth having to spend your Saturday wrestling with your little brother for the TV remote?

– Heidi Kim