On Nov. 9 CW's teen-targeted "Gossip Girl" featured a threesome, portraying it as a normal, expected event in a college student's life.
The episode depicted three friends completing a list that was supposedly printed in their college newspaper: "The 15 Things Every College Student Must Do Before Graduating." Number 11 was "Have a Threesome."
On Nov. 10, the day after the episode aired, Entertainment Weekly commented on the "Gossip Girl's" threesome, saying, "The whole thing was pretty chaste. Aside from a shot of them all in bed together in the end, it was basically no more risqué than a game of spin the bottle."
What Entertainment Weekly doesn't grasp (or perhaps doesn't want to) is that it's not about how graphic the scene was or wasn't. It's the fact that the show was promoting the idea as normal and even expected.
"Though there was no explicit sex scene on last night's episode," said Tim Winter, the president of the Parents Television Council, "the CW Network's behavior was grossly irresponsible by adding a story line where a sexual threesome was to be celebrated as some sort of ‘rite of passage' for teenagers."
The PTC also noted in its Nov. 10 press release that the content rating of the show deemed it appropriate for 14-year-old children. However, the show is hugely popular among "tweens." In fact, "Gossip Girl" had the highest ratings in September among females ages 12-34. The advertisements surrounding the show also highlight who the show targets. Phrases such as "Every Parent's Nightmare" "clearly appeal to teens, not adult women," the Council noted.
CW has announced that it will be continuing its crass "threesome" storyline into next week's episode.