Senators want warning about ‘disturbing’ LGBTQ content in kids’ TV shows – Deadline
A group of Republican senators are calling for a TV rating system to warn parents about LGBTQ content in children’s programming. Their statement repeatedly points the finger at Disney.
GOP Senators Roger Marshall (Kan.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Braun (Ind.), Steve Daines (Mont.) and Kevin Cramer (ND) sent a letter to Charles Rivkin, chairman of the TV Guidelines Ratings Board – the entity that manages and monitors designations on programs such as TV-Y, TV-14, TV-MA, etc.
The missive begins: “In recent years, topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programs, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria.
He continues, “Considering that cognitive markers of sexual desire emerge during puberty when adolescents undergo natural hormonal and physiological changes, it is totally inappropriate to display this content in a TV-Y7 category and for other young audiences.
The letter casts suspicion on “the motives of hyper-sexualized entertainment producers” who, according to the letter, “are working to push this content onto young audiences,” calling those motives “suspicious at best and predatory at worst. “.
The senators are asking the TV Guidelines Ratings Board to update its designations to reflect some parents’ concerns about “sexual orientation and gender identity content in children’s television programming.”
Members of Congress are demanding a response by May 18 and a briefing with board members in person.
A GLAAD spokesperson responded to the senators’ letter saying, “LGBTQ people are in every family, workplace, school and neighborhood. The media simply reflects and represents this reality and the growing acceptance of LGBTQ people at all levels. An overwhelming majority of Americans reject efforts to ban books and censor conversation.
The American Psychiatric Association’s introduction to gender dysphoria defines it as “psychological distress resulting from an incongruity between sex assigned at birth and gender identity.” It also states that “diverse gender expressions, like diverse gender identities, are not indications of a mental disorder.”
Moreover, while the senators’ letter maintains that gender dysphoria is a subject “of a sexual nature”. The APA Explainer makes the medical distinction between sexuality and gender identity.
“Gender identity is also different from sexual orientation,” reads the APA Primer. “Sexual orientation refers to the types of people one is sexually attracted to. Transgender people have the same diversity of sexual orientations as cisgender people (people whose sex assigned at birth matches their gender identity).
The move comes amid the culture war over Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, uproar at Disney over LGBTQ issues, and concerns about privacy rights following the proposed decision by Supreme Court recently disclosed regarding Roe v. Wade.
Deadline has contacted the TV Guidelines Ratings Board and will add any comments we receive.