On Oct. 30, families across America sat down on the sofa with their children to watch the Halloween staple, “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on ABC.
As the classic cartoon began to wrap up, it’s easy to imagine parents stepping away to prepare for little ones’ bedtimes or to use the restroom or simply to make a phone call.
Twenty-six seconds later, less than the time it takes to show a full-length commercial, the toddlers those parents left behind on the sofa were treated to an adult woman’s sexual fantasy, a scene from the television show, “Scandal,” depicting graphic lovemaking that stretches the limits of even television’s TV-MA, or mature, rating.
Now a parents organization is demanding ABC apologize for what it says was an irresponsible decision to bookend the final moments of Charlie Brown with graphic sex.
“Shame on ABC for putting a peep show next to a playground,” asserts Parents Television Council President Tim Winter. “In less than 26 seconds we were taken from the ‘Peanuts’ pumpkin patch to a steamy ‘Scandal’ sex scene. Twenty-six seconds, boom.
“Unless parents had the remote control in their hand, thumb on the button and aimed directly at the TV screen, they didn’t have a chance,” he continued. “Such a transition is grossly irresponsible by the network and entirely unfair for parents. ABC owes families an apology.”
Winter isn’t letting ABC off the hook for making a simple error, either.
“Network programmers know the importance of audience flow when constructing their broadcast schedule, and in fact they build their schedules around audience retention rates,” Winter said. “So they know full well the importance of program adjacency. The juxtaposition of a reliably classic family friendly children’s cartoon special like the ‘Great Pumpkin’ – a huge family draw every year for decades – with such a graphic bedroom scene is unjustifiable. We call on ABC to apologize for its actions and to promise not to do such a thing in the future.”
Video capture of ABC’s Oct. 30 programming at the conclusion of the Charlie Brown special can be seen below.
Editor’s Note: The following scene from “Scandal” contains partial nudity and sexual content.