Republican Senators Pressure TV Ratings Board Over ‘Disturbing’ LGBTQ+ Content

Republican Senators Pressure TV Ratings Board Over 'Disturbing' LGBTQ+ Content

WASHINGTON — Five Republican senators are demanding an overhaul of the current TV ratings system to include warnings about LGBTQ+ content, which they claim “not only harms children, but also destabilizes and damages parental rights.”

The effort to expand labeling is spearheaded by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who is joined by Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

The five senators penned a highly homophobic and transphobic letter sent on Wednesday to Charles Rivkin, chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, which regulates the parental guidance ratings broadcast before television programs. The letter includes shocking, stigmatizing language about trans people and their experiences.

In the letter, Sen. Marshall and his fellow Republican legislators claim that “concerning topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria.”

“To this end,” the anti-trans senators continue, “we strongly urge you to update the TV Parental Guidelines and ensure they are up-to-date on best practices that help inform parents on this disturbing content.”

Besides asking for an expansion of government-backed intervention on the definition and labeling of sexual content, the senators tendentiously quote background material surrounding the Telecommunications Act of 1996 — which was struck down by the courts as unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds — alleging that Congress found that “studies indicate that children are affected by the pervasiveness and casual treatment of sexual material on television, eroding the ability of parents to develop responsible attitudes and behavior in their children.”

The Republican senators then go on to conflate “sexual situations,” which the ratings system is meant to flag, with the very existence of LGBTQ+ characters.

Targeting a Disney policy of inclusivity, the senators claim that, “to the detriment of children, gender dysphoria has become sensationalized in the popular media and television with radical activists and entertainment companies” and assert that this “not only harms children, but also destabilizes and damages parental rights.”

Reductive, Pseudo-Medical Musings About ‘Puberty’

Senator Marshall and the others also condemn Disney in the letter for denouncing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law. “Sexual orientation and gender identity instruction,” the senators declared, without providing any meaningful evidence, “often entails a discussion concerning an individual’s pattern of emotional, romantic and sexual attraction.”

The letter also includes shockingly reductive, pseudo-medical statements about human sexual development by the avowedly anti-sex, religiously-inspired politicians.

“Considering that the cognitive markers of sexual desire emerge during puberty when adolescents undergo natural hormonal and physiological changes,” they write, “it is wholly inappropriate to display this content in a TV-Y7 category and for other young audiences. This dialogue often involves the promotion of irreversible experimental treatments that involve surgical and otherwise invasive cosmetic procedures that are detrimental and life-altering, and do not evidence medical necessity.”

The letter also implies deliberate “grooming” on the part of Disney executives and TV producers, a smearing accusation which appears intended to chill free speech.

“The motivations of hyper-sexualized entertainment producers striving to push this content on young audiences are suspect at best and predatory at worst,” the senators write.

The senators then double down on the threat by summoning the members of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to attend Congress for “an in-person briefing.”

Sen. Marshall Demands Answers About ‘Problematic’ She-Ra, Princesses of Power

According to a Rolling Stone report today, although the senators “do not cite any problematic shows in their letter,” Marshall’s office “provided the Kansas City Star with a list of four: Nickelodeon’s ‘Danger Force’ and ‘The Loud House,’ and Netflix’s ‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’ and ‘Dead End: Paranormal Park.’”

Disney, Rolling Stone points out, “has been under assault from conservatives for speaking out against Florida’s new law that prohibits teachers in kindergarten through third grade from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity. The law also allows parents to sue over alleged violations.”

Senator Marshall accompanied Wednesday’s letter with a tweet lambasting “Disney’s latest campaign to embed left-wing sexual politics in its children’s programming.”

4 thoughts on “Republican Senators Pressure TV Ratings Board Over ‘Disturbing’ LGBTQ+ Content

  1. If the actions and rhetoric of the MAGA/GOP do not damage children’s psyche, there is little chance LGBTQ+ appearance or content in the entertainment industry will be a danger. If they survive on an intellectual diet of hatred, misogyny, xenophobia, the endless and apparent lies, there is a good chance they will grow up with a better grasp of reality than their parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Cagjr. These right wing haters are so sure their followers don’t even remember their own childhoods that they make these claims. I remember Bugs Bunny dressing as a girl including make up even kissing on Elmer and Daffy. I remember all the stars growing up that dressed up as women, and it was a huge hit. My favorite was Flip Wilson as Geraldine Jones. If the hate of the 1970s and 1980s did not keep a growing generation gay kids like me from not only being gay but openly expressing it, why do these right wing haters think repeating those horrible times will keep kids today from being gay or being open about it. In a way I think this is driven by the religious idea that being LGBTQ+ is a choice. It is something we are born as and to force us to live denying that it is a crime against our humanity. So much progress in acceptance and tolerance destroyed in just a year or so by red state governors led by DeathSantis after four years of religious takeover of government allowed by tRump. But to what you said, if decades of abuse by police and being ignored by the government did not drive the LGBTQ+ under ground and into the closets in the days before stonewall how do they think it will work now. They think that they can use the enforcement arm of the right wing called the Proud Boys / Oath Keepers / white national militias will do so? They did not learn from the drag event where the LGBTQ+ showed up armed to protect the event and it went on as planned. If the right wants a war it wont be a race war, it will be this. LGBTQ+ are not going back into hiding quietly, we wont be abused again without out a fight. The right likes to paint the LGBTQ+ as weak but they forget how many of us served in the military.

      Anyway. sorry Cagjr. I am a bit upset over something I just read before your comment and it has left me more angry than reasoning. I hate what these right wing fascist are doing to the country I live in and love, I hate what the republican traitors are doing trading their country for a red hat and worship of a fake wealthy person.

      But to address the last thing you wrote. The state of Texas is harassing and threatening the families of trans children causing everything from taking kids away from those families to deny them the medical treatment they are receiving to families splitting up to live in different states or even to the trans kids trying to kill themselves. How by my dogs that love gravy is this in any child’s best interest denying the best practice of all the major medical communities. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello Scottie. I was cleaning my mailboxes and found this.

        I have long since given up the notion that GOP, Christians, Republicans, Conservatives, whatever they say they are, have any compassion for any child outside the womb. Nothing in their narrative nor their actions show them to have any compassion at all. Their interest is not in the children, but in the power they feel at being able to inflict pain on someone. To hold up any faction of society that does not identify with them and to be their whipping boy seems to give their life meaning. They are only fulfilled when they kneel on someone’s neck. Children included.


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