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Free «The Ethical Dilemmas of Violence in Television» Essay Sample


Every society has its own universally acceptable ways of living and interaction between one another. It is always a good thing to have a common behaviour that is acceptable and universal to all the people of all types and nature in the society. This is because of the fact that the practise by one will not interfere with the life and practise by another individual. This is what many societies refer to as social norms. They are basically the acceptable systems and designs of living that makes an individual comfortable at all times. Moreover, in the business world, it is always the aim of any company or organisation to satisfy the immediate needs of the customers at all times, and also to avoid impeding their systems of life.


The paper aims at analysing one of the situations that have been notable among many societies both in and out of the media companies. The Beavis, butt-head and the TV content is one of the most influencing cases that have influenced many across the world. It is one of the programs that got displayed in the American television station. It relays two uncivilised teen age nonconformists, who became a run away popular sensation and a sign of a heated national debate as concerns violent and inappropriate programming in the television stations.   It is normally common to have controversies in any setting of the society, but there are situations that are supposed to be taken with pungency since it affects the lives of many people both young and old.



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The case revealed a highly hopeless and disturbing situations with regards to the nature of the program at all times. There are many incentives that were missing in the advert to make it pleasing and appeasing to the viewers, yet with many programs in it contrary to the existing norms and ethics of the society. It is normally not easy to meet the needs and interests of many in the society and the world as a whole. This is the reason why there will always be controversies as concerns to anything that is revealed in the mass media and other modes of communication (Goldsborough, 1993).

Some of the reactions that were elicited from the case are that the program lacked a taste of modicum and humour. Many shows are expected to be humorous in order to capture the attention of many both and old. Humour is an incentive that is expected of many entertaining programs. Lack of humour in a program will may make it not fulfil the intentions of the program. Many companies and business organisations are aiming at making sure that the programs that they set up in the media are always attractive in order to meet the intentions of advertising. Another individual wrote that the program had characters who wicked and unrevealingly funny. These are perceptions that may be personal and skewed to the interests of an individual, but in the real sense, all the needs of the customers in a business are supposed to be meeting in order to bring the products to all people. This is one of the marketing strategies that have been involved by many marketers.

The program also never lacked a single praise. One of the writers of the US news and world report had praise on the program that 'this may be the bravest show ever run on national television.' The idea of a brave show revealed that it is always an incentive for programs to show an aspect of braveness in it on order to win the interests of some particular customers in the market. For a product to be in touch with the taste of the customers, it has to win their braveness and full potentiality in and out of season. There are other positive perceptions that were revealed in the program. Some of them are actually meant to meet the needs of particular customers at all times of the season.

Due to the fact that some of the people were not pleased by the program yet others getting it nice, there arose a controversy over the entire life of the program. The opinions were divergent thus reflecting the ambiguities and difficulties in the discussion that arose. This was mainly basing on the nature and the type of the programs that should be displayed in the America TV stations.

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The beavis and butt-head and the TV content gave difficult times to all the advertisers in and out of the United States of America. Even some of the biggest American advertisers were influenced in one way or the other by the nature of the advert. Some of the companies that suffered accusation were those of Burroughs welcome, PepsiCo, and the Bristol-Myers Squibb. They are accused of playing a role in the spreading of violent adverts on one of the America's prime time television networks. Some of the frequent advisers of bevies are Nike, Sony Corporation of America and Nestle among others.

There are a number of claims that were raised as a result of the program. Some of the repercussion that resulted is the fire that consumed the life of a two year old girl in Moraine, Ohio. This is one of the tragic situations that captured the attentions of many hence making many not to like the program at all. The MTV producers and the company as a whole had to strategise on how to deal with the situation in order to regain the interest that people had upon the company. This called for the company to involve its strategies of managing situations and crisis within the organisation (Goldsborough, 1993).

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Many organisations have defined ways of dealing with problems of crisis and dilemmas as this of adverts. Dilemma management is an activity that deals with ways and means of curbing the major events that can be threats of the organisation, the stakeholders and even the general public that is connected to the organisation in one way or the other. The dilemmas are normally a threat towards the management of an organisation; they are short lived and bring much surprise to the stakeholders and the entire management of an organisation. It is upon the management and the stakeholders of the affected companies to come up with strategies of dealing with the problem of making adverts for the company.

The management of the company is the organ that is mostly affected by any dilemma that may arise in the company or an organisation. In this case, there was a public backlash against Beavis and butt-head in 1993. Many companies were almost deciding to stop running their commercials in the show, for instance the Nestle and Nike firms. The stakeholders of these two companies were the ones who were at point of running at a loss due to the dilemmas in the companies. It would be considered ethical for them to stop their activities in the show since it was thought to bring more harm than good to the company. Moreover, the stakeholders are the people who are suppose to strike any necessary changes inn the companies in order to deal with the problems that are prevailing.

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The levels of potentiality of the stakeholders will be subjected to scrutiny by the public in a situation that reveals the weaknesses in the company. This is the ability of the stakeholders to merge well with the existing troubles and be able to handle any upcoming issue that may affect the credibility of the company in one way or the other. What happens in the company, or what happens to an organisation is normally subject to the scrutiny of the stakeholders who manage and run the affairs of the company. Having in mind that the adverts were malicious in some way, or were specifically violent, the picture that will be depicted of the stakeholders is that of violence. This is even though the aims of the stakeholders were positive towards the marketing of the products of the company.

The stakeholders are impacted in many ways by the various options that have been depicted by the dilemma. The stakeholders at the marketing and the section of making adverts are the ones who are impacted even in a greater way. They will be forced to come up with immediate strategies that will be used to remedy the problems caused by the adverts. Thus, they will be forced to think positive and direct to the customers of the products before they start losing to other companies in the market (Goldsborough, 1993).

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In order to solve the problems of the people, the management sections of the company will be forced to work even harder than it had been doing before. This is with one main intention of overcoming the problems that are in the company. This involves coming up with different strategies and methodologies of delivering adverts to the people in a way that will probably meet their desires and needs. New policies have to be formulated and implemented in the company within the specific time of operation of the company in the media. These policies are supposed to be in line with the certain needs and regulations of the people who will be reached by the company and its products. The time of working by the stakeholders will thus be increased in order to meet all the needs within a short period of time(Chinyio, 2000).

Skill improvement is one of the other aspects that will be impacted in the life of the stakeholders of the company. The stakeholders will be forced to do more courses that are related to the nature of the work they are doing. More courses will be needed to improve their skills and expertise in the offering the services to the customers. This will also assist them to come up with ways of making sure that problems are rare to happen in the organisation. Moreover, the stakeholders will be forced to learn the new and latest techniques. This involves embracing the new technology since many customers are well conversant with them. This will specifically assist the company to compete well in the global market.

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In a more technical way, the managers and the stakeholders are the ones who are supposed to take firm actions of having a positive and realistic outlook towards the companies. They are supposed to view the world as it is today, and never weaver from embracing any technology that evolves with time.

On the other hand, the stakeholders will also be positively impacted by the nature of the dilemma. This is specifically with respect to the level of fame that the company will have reached at the end of the advert. One of the strategies that many companies use is making the products of the company extent beyond the borders of local reach. Some of the customers were impressed by the adverts and thus the stakeholders will be influenced to keep up with the strategies and the methods they used in making and formulating the adverts. Moreover, the stakeholders of the company will be made to even improve the modes and levels of carrying out advertisements in the television sets all over the country and the world at large. This will be a form of reward that will be received by the stakeholders for the job well done.

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Talking from the point of view of the societal ethics, what took place in the TV was contrary to what many ethics would spell. Violence is an act that is considered a vice upon the lives of the individuals in the society. It is always never condoned by the society leadership and the members as a whole. When the company is involved or involves violence at a prospect that it is carrying out adverts over business products. Violence is an aspect that normally results in unease in the society. This is because of the fact that it dispels peace and harmony that is existent in the society. Moreover, it is wrong to consider violence as a way of getting or achieving a particular objective. It is a vice and will always remain a vice. Talking from the point of view of teleology, the resultant effects of violence are detrimental to the living in any society all over the world. It therefore qualifies it to be one of the vices in the society whether they are good or bad at the moment of action (Chinyio, 2000).

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Conclusion and recommendations

Violence in the television is an act that transverse to all the viewers in the world. The acts of business and marketing are part of the activities that are done by man with the main intention of making a living. Such activities are both beneficial and also detrimental to the lives of the people in the society. They are helpful in that in the field of business, the stakeholders will always use any means to get the buyers of the products that are produced by the company. Moreover, acts of violence are useful in some situations as in the acts of war and self defence.

On the other hand, violence is a vice that is forbidden in many societies. It is against the wishes and motives of a good and peaceful living in the society. From these two points of view, the company did wrong to use violence in formulating their adverts. There are many other options that they would have used in place of using violent illustrations. The merits of the action are more than the demerits or the negatives, thus the act is wrong before the existence of law and virtues of the society. It is a good thing not to assume the fact that a business or a product will be able to yield well if vices are involved in advertising it.

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There are many considerations that the company would have considered before assuming the action that it took upon the TV show. A gain cannot be gained through wrong methodologies. The act is wrong and would probably have negative effects upon the lives of the members of the society. In order to avoid such dilemmas in the future, it is advisable to consider the lives of the individuals after some period of time, and gage the effects of having the actions displayed in the TV shows. What is wrong may not be wrong at an immediate point, but with time, its effects would be detrimental. To those who are facing similar problems, the best thing to do is to base its judgement upon the ethics of both society and the people as they try to come out of these problems.


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