Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

46 Federal Communications Law Journal 187 (1993)


The Television Violence Act of 1990 is designed to encourage the networks, the cable industry, and independent stations to reduce the amount of violence currently shown on television. To accomplish this goal, the Act grants a three-year antitrust exemption to the television industry so that it may meet and develop joint standards aimed at reducing the amount of violence currently shown on television. The Act's sponsor, Senator Paul Simon, emphasized that the Act simply encouraged the broadcast industry to set standards; it did not require them to do so. However, in December 1992, when the television industry had still not met, Congress threatened that if the broadcasters did not meet soon, sterner legislation might follow. Finally, in August 1993, when there was still no noticeable reduction of violence on television, Senator Simon told the networks they had sixty days to reduce the amount of violence on television or face increased regulation by the government. The Author argues that although the Act may be constitutional, it will not reduce violence on television enough to satisfy the government's goal of decreasing the amount of violence in society by reducing it on television. While the Author suggests alternatives to the Act for reducing violence on television, the Author ultimately recommends leaving regulation of violence on television to the marketplace.