Content Warning: The themes and images presented in this article may not be suitable for all audiences.
A publicist -- who is also a mother -- is fed up with Hollywood's exploitation of sex. Rather than remain silent, she recently penned an epic blog post lampooning the entertainment industry and calling for Tinseltown and society, alike, to come to its moral senses.
It all started last week as Rebeca Seitz of Naples, Florida, was enjoying some morning television. As commercials began to air, she could hardly believe her eyes. While she was watching "Good Morning America," an advertisement for the ABC show "Betrayal" came on, featuring a male and female in the midst of a steamy sex scene. The commercial for the show was apparently graphic, exposing her 8-year-old son to extremely unpalatable content.
Here's the image she captured and posted on her blog:
Photo Credit: Rebeca Seitz
Seitz, a Christian, reacted to the scene by sending her son away, rewinding to be sure her eyes didn't deceive her and snapping a picture on her phone. She then uploaded the image to Facebook, where it was ironically taken down for violating the social network's standards (someone reported it and it was deemed "inappropriate due to nudity").
The frustrated mother, who works in media and is the president of a public relations firm, posted the picture in an effort to spark a conversation about morality and standards -- and to voice her frustration and disbelief. When the Facebook post was removed, a friend suggested she take to her blog to document what unfolded, so she did.
In a post entitled, "Morning Sex," Seitz recounted her morning hanging out with her young son and daughter and the image that suddenly appeared on her television -- one she deemed completely inappropriate and troubling.
"I understand we’ve ceded the idea of morality in primetime. A moronic move, but one we (and by “we” I mean Jesus-following folk) have to own. But this wasn’t primetime. This was a commercial about a primetime show airing while we all enjoy cornflakes and coffee and wish our kiddos a good morning," she wrote.
A screen shot from Rebeca Seitz's blog
Seitz continued, noting that her child saw something that was way too advanced to be on television at 8 a.m. ET because of bad decisions that were made by Hollywood executives, not by her as a parent. The mother took the opportunity to make a compelling case surrounding the sexual nature of media content and her frustration over what her son simply cannot un-see:
Someone decided the writers of Betrayal weren’t delivering a story that would hold viewers’ interest on its own.
Someone told talented actors that their craft alone – delivering solidly written lines in a believable fashion – wouldn’t cut it.
Someone told a director and set crew that their crafts alone – finding the right angles, setting a mood with lighting – wouldn’t get it done.
Someone decided that what was needed to get people to actually watch Betrayal was taking off the actors’ clothes and having them simulate sex – at least, the Hollywood version of it.
And then someone who does the ad placement at GMA and for the show Betrayal decided what was needed to make this ABC show another “most watched show” for the network was to place that ad smack in the middle of my morning. And yours. And millions of other family members.
The angry mom said that she's not willing to sit down and remain quiet while Hollywood glorifies the breaking of wedding vows and simulated sex in an effort to spawn ratings. Stunned by what she saw last week, she is ready to fight back.
Rebeca Seitz (Photo Source: Rebeca Seitz/Twitter)
"I am not going into that darkness without a very loud, very public, foot-stomping, loud-voiced, fist-raising, steely-eyed FIGHT," she wrote, pledging to create Hollywood projects and books that uplift and entertain, but that also invoke positive themes. "I will choose to believe that the basest among us in this industry are not the standard bearers or setters. I will stay committed to educating myself and others so that the quality of our work enhances the content thereof."
While some might accuse Seitz of advocating for censorship, she said this isn't an accurate portrayal of her views or goals. Sex, she believes, isn't always something that should simply be removed from shows and movies. Sometimes, in fact, she said that a sex scene -- in the right context -- is needed. Using sex as a "cheap trick" to raise ratings, Seitz says, though, is simply wrong.
In an interview with TheBlaze on Monday, the mother noted she has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but that they are so backlogged that she has little faith that it will be acted upon in a timely fashion.
Seitz also reached out to her local ABC affiliate, WZVN-TV, and received an apology over the airing of the overtly-sexual clip. Interestingly, Seitz claims that the station manager told her that the "Betrayal" ad came from the national ABC feed, which means that it also likely aired on other local affiliates across the nation.
"I cannot ever be okay with naked people having sex in the middle of 'Good Morning America,'" the mother told TheBlaze. "Sex is a beautiful exquisite gift between two people who are married."
Noting that she has received some critique from those who believe that her son should be exposed to sex so that he's ready to comprehend it later on, Seitz countered, telling TheBlaze that by taking a stand she's "teaching him not to degrade" sex and not to "use it for ratings."
The publicist regularly puts her money (and time) where her mouth is, as she is already working to help Christian artists bring their work into the mainstream through Spirit of Naples (SON) and Glass Road Media Management. That said, the graphic imagery she encountered last week has given her some new perspective.
Rather than continue to be silent or apologize for her faith and her views, Seitz says she will be amending her ways, as she's no longer willing to apologize for her faith.
"Another big thing that happened with me, because I work mainly with mainstream, I have started sliding into what I think a lot of us are in. We approach everything from apology ... I'm not there anymore," she said. "Look, I'm not issuing any judgement on you for not sharing my faith, but how about you stop issuing judgement on me for having faith."
As far as other Christians go, she had some empowering messages, noting that the faithful shouldn't retreat from society and that they should be willing to put themselves "out there" and to disseminate information that represents their views so that others can see divergent perspectives.
"I'm just not sure that it's a great idea that we put ourselves in a bubble to avoid dealing with the messy world," she said.