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Television and Community Norms

Commercial interests heavily influence popular media. Specifically, commercial television and film are influenced by producers and directors who in turn are influenced by their financial backers to produce products that appeal to the appropriate target demographic. If the target demographic responds favorably to scenes featuring sexual content, obscenity, and violence, then this is the content that the financiers want to see made a part of the final product. This is precisely what has happened. Sex, obscenities, and violence are key characteristics of films and television programs today because these features tend to 'sell' the audience on the program or the movie.

I agree with the suggestion that television programs and films cater to the tastes of their target audience. One example is The Matrix Trilogy ¬. The producers and writers understood that their audience enjoyed violence. They enjoyed stylized violence. They enjoyed scenes of mayhem. In fact, the more violent The Matrix movies became, the more likely it was that film would become a commercial success. For this reason, as the producers and directors continued with the trilogy, the number of so-called action scenes continued to grow. The writers considered the plot line to be secondary in importance to scenes featuring more special effects, more elaborately choreographed fight scenes, and in the last of the series a 20 minute chase scene filmed on the freeways of Southern California. The ongoing battles between the character 'Neo' and the 'agents' working for the machine have also grown more intense. For anyone who has seen the third installment of the trilogy, one only has to recall the carnage of the scene in the courtyard after the Oracle leaves when Neo single-handedly does battle with dozens if not hundreds of clone agents.

Popular television programs have also bent to the will of the viewing public by providing program content that is rich in


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