Parents voiced very concerned about a kids movie. And the studio distributing it … listened.
Social media was blowing up with its further consideration of “Show Dogs” — for a disturbing reason. Reviewers and mothers alike voiced concerns about whether the PG-rated kids’ cinema “Show Dogs” was subtly conditioning kids to be groomed for sexual molestation. Yes, really.
Thanks to continuous feedback from people across the country and a candid statement from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the movie executives decided to make a change. In a statement issued May 24, 2018, Global Road Entertainment states 😛 TAGEND
“Responding to concerns raised by moviegoers and some specific organisations, Global Road Entertainment has decided to remove two scenes from the cinema ‘Show Dogs’ that some have deemed not appropriate for children.
The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film’s rating.”
What started all the disagreement?
In the cinema, an anthropomorphized police dog named Max( played by Ludacris) runs undercover at a puppy depict to gather intelligence on a crime. As part of the operation, he has to prepare to compete in a puppy show.
One of the requirements of the show is an “inspection” of a dog’s “private parts” by the judges. While rehearsing for this part of the depict, Max is uncomfortable and says so. His trainers coach him on how to be done in order to a “happy/ zen” place while it’s happening so that he can get through it. He resists at first, but by the time the reveal comes around — with everything riding on his ability to get through the inspection — he successfully disassociates from the fondling as viewers get a look at his happy place.
Um, yeah. That’s problematic.
Parents and child advocacy groups alike voiced their concerns over the scenes.
Terina Maldonado at Macaroni Kid wrote, “During the movie, I maintained supposing, ‘This is wrong, it doesn’t need to be in a kids movie. Everything else in the movie is good fun except for this.’ Afterward, my husband mentioned that he picked up on this message too, as did my mother who saw the movie with us. My daughter, on the other hand, said her favorite part of the movie was when Max got his privates touched and the funny reaction he had.”
And therein lies their own problems. It’s not that kids will recognize that there’s a number of problems with the scenes — it’s that they won’t . They’ll giggle about how it’s uncomfortable to have your privates touched, and then get the message that “going to happy place” is a good way to deal with that discomfort.
A new movie aimed at kids has mothers talking, but not in a good way. Today’s Parenting Tip is about Show Dogs, infant sexual abuse, and the important conversations that parents need to have to help prevent it from happening. – https :// t.co /8 mG6Dr5WS5 pic.twitter.com/ nANsQKINFK
— Prevent Child Abuse (@ PCAAmerica) May 23, 2018
Dawn Hawkins, executive director for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation spoke up about the film. “The movie ‘Show Dogs’ sends a troubling message that grooms children for sexual abuse, ” she said in a statement. “It contains multiple scenes where a puppy character must have its private parts inspected, in the course of which the dog is uncomfortable and wants to stop but is told to be done in order to a ‘zen place.’ The dog is rewarded with advancing to the final round of the dog show after passing this roadblock. Disturbingly, these are similar tactics child abusers use when grooming children — telling them to feign they are somewhere else, and that they will get a reward for withstanding their discomfort.”
Initially, the movie manufacturers released a lukewarm apology statement that led many to believe they didn’t actually insure their own problems.
The original statement released by the filmmakers read, “It has come to our attention that there have been online discussion and concern about a particular scene in Show Dogs, a family slapstick that is rated PG. The dog depict judging in this film is illustrated altogether accurately as done at depicts around the world and was performed by professional and highly respected puppy reveal judges. Global Road Entertainment and the filmmakers are saddened and apologize to any parent who feels the scene sends a message other than a comedic moment in the film, with no hide or ulterior meaning, but respect their right is responding to any piece of content.”
Their initial reaction was not an apology nor did it take accountability; however, they did seem to step back, realise the merit of these concerns, and take action.
While their eventual answer was to take action, it remains concerning that it wasn’t caught or changed sooners. In the age of #MeToo, where sexual assault has been a hot topic of dialogue and education, it’s unfathomable that no one in the final production of this film would have recognized the questions or pointed it out before the film’s release.
Update 5/24/ 2018 : This post was updated to reflect new action taken by the movie distributor that took place after original publishing.
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