The Movie Blame Game

After reading this article from CBS News, I decided I should give a voice to my frustrations when it comes to people blaming movies for what’s going wrong in their children’s lives.  If you have not read the article, I will sum it up for you.  A study that was published in the Feb. 20 issue of the British Medical Journal Open surveyed 6500 teens in the U.S. between the ages of 10 to 14.  ” The researchers gave the teens a list of the top 100 U.S. box office hits in each of the preceding 5 years plus the 32 top-grossing films of 2003, and asked teens which ones they’d seen. The researchers tracked the length of alcohol scenes in all 532 movies, and based on the responses, determined teens saw an average of four-plus hours of on-screen alcohol use. But some teens in the study saw well over eight hours of these scenes.”

The article goes on to say ” The study did not determine cause and effect, only an association between watching the movies and drinking. Other factors such as whether their parents drank, peer behavior, and whether the teens owned alcohol merchandise were considered. The association was seen not only if the movie characters drink, but also with alcohol product placement, the authors said. They’re calling on Hollywood execs to adopt stricter regulations on alcohol placement in movies, just as they do for tobacco.”

What gets under my skin about this article is that it gives parents an excuse to rationalize why their kids are drinking, instead of looking at what kind of example they are setting for their kids.  Movies are not to blame for all your kids’ problems.  Take a long look in the mirror at what problems are going on in your own life that could be causing your kid to act out.

The thing these researchers do not realize is that underage drinking is going to happen no matter if it portrayed as being cool in movies or not.  I know that I drank when I was a teenager.  I won’t deny it.  I’m sure many of you have as well.  Is it right? No but it happens.  Mind you, I do not condone underaged drinking but I think that parents should be doing more than saying to their kids that drinking is bad.

Blaming the movies for underaged drinking is the stupidest thing I have heard since blaming violent movies causing the Columbine tragedy.  I watched violent movies when I was a kid and I never had thoughts of wanting to go on a killing spree.  This was because my parents took an interest in my well-being.

Parents need to take the time to talk their children and stop blaming the movies for what is going wrong in the lives of their children.

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2 Replies to “The Movie Blame Game”

  1. Well said! I think a lot of problems with today’s youth starts at home. It is becoming a trend in America to play the blame game. Blame on teachers, TV, movies, music, etc etc etc. As parents, it is your job to raise your children. You chose to have them, now raise them. I think it is a pretty simple concept. I saw a lot of movies as a kid that had alcohol use, tobacco use, sex, drugs, violence and none of that had any impact on my decisions. Part of the problems we face as a country and in our personal lives are due partly because we place blame and don’t own our own actions. If I mess up, I am the first one to say it. Nice post!

    1. Thanks, Marybeth. I saw this article this morning when I was on Twitter and it just struck me as the same line we’ve been hearing for years. “Movies(music, video games, television, or whatever) are a bad influence on children. Think of the children.” If parents would learn to take the time to get their children the world would be a better place.

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