Father Figures in the Media

Medias portrayal of fathers in the media is nothing short of repulsive. Ever since the late 80’s and early 90’s, fathers have been portrayed as the dunces of the TV realm. Shows like “The Simpsons” and “Married…with Children” have displayed irresponsible and uninvolved father figures while current generation shows don’t even display a father! “Suite Life of Zack and Cody” is a show featuring two twin boys, their single mother, and guess what…no father. “iCarly” is another show of our generation that not only doesn’t feature a father, but doesn’t include a mother figure as well.


Do all of the perceptions of fathers that media constantly portrays effect the way that we think of fathers as a society? Do we watch these shows that display an idiotic parental and think that that’s what fathers are like? Do fathers see these shows and think that that is how you approach fatherhood? The portrayal of fathers in TV can and most likely normalizes fathers not being involved in the household. Illustrating a father as a dunce and not caring to be involved in their children’s lives can’t be positively uplifting for the world we live in today where fathers are seemingly absent from the lives of their children. An estimated 33% of children live without their biological fathers and as of 2012, 24.4% live with their mother only.

But what is the bigger picture and the effect that this depiction has on society? If fathers are seeing these television shows and believing that this is what the role of the father in the household should look like, then they are going to begin to mimic the examples they see thus becoming absent and uninvolved. And with absent fathers comes an insane amount of negative consequences on society. Beginning with the effects on children, there are an increase in behavioral problems, intellectual abilities, and an upsurge of children growing up in poverty. When seeing the example that an irresponsible and preoccupied Dad sets for them, children, especially girls are negatively affected with the ability to form safe and trusting relationships which leads to even more broken and twisted interactions with others in the future. With more children of todays society being not as competent in relationships as children of previous generations, what kinds of effects will this have on the future of America? First of all, the divorce rates will expand and become even more prominent throughout our country. Second, children of the next generations will become even more affected which makes for a not as promising American society.

But why fathers? Is it because they aren’t a minority so everything said against them in a television show doesn’t come off as racist to prejudice? Does picking on a white male envelope a safe humor since they aren’t a minority? Since fathers aren’t a politically correct object of humor, it’s safe to portray them as morons to the entire world.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 6.02.06 PM

But are television shows featuring a doofus dad really the root of all of our societies problems? Let’s think about the sole goal of TV producers—to make money and entertain. If a television show is funny, then it’s funny…right? Even though dads are the butt of the jokes, it’s completely fine because people are entertained and producers are making money…right?

Wrong. Television producers have no idea what the effect on society is from the things they display and the images they put into our minds. It would be nice if television could make entertainment free of comedy that is at the expense of someone instead of always throwing someone under the bus in order to get a cheap laugh.