Written by PTC | Published June 29, 2022
Who typically watches cartoons?
Cartoons are inherently attractive to children. There are developmental reasons for that; from the bright, high-contrast colors, the exaggerated two-dimensional characters, cartoons draw their eye and are easy for them to relate to. Children associate cartoons with novelty, excitement, and easy-to-follow stories. If a child sees a cartoon character on a screen – any screen – their eyes lock onto that image instantaneously, and they automatically assume “this was made for me.”
I’m sure you’ve seen it happen, too. A child could be engrossed in a toy, food, or playing with a parent or sibling, but if someone turns on a cartoon everything else stops, and the child becomes fixated on the animated images.
That’s why parents need to be especially careful these days when they turn on their TV or launch their favorite streaming service.
Platforms like Netflix are creating and distributing more and more “adult animation.”
We've sounded the alarm about “Big Mouth” on Netflix – a pornographic cartoon that features child characters, some of which are fully nude, engaged in sexually explicit and shockingly profane situations. This year, the creators of “Big Mouth” launched a spin-off on Netflix called “Human Resources” and it is every bit as raunchy, foul-mouthed and sexually graphic as its predecessor. And because it is a cartoon, it is likely to attract young impressionable viewers.
That’s why we are urging parents to check and double-check the parental controls on their streaming subscriptions.
To an unsuspecting child stumbling across it, “Human Resources” might look like “Monsters, Inc.” with bizarre-looking made-up creatures sharing an office space. Except that these creatures include the hairy, sex-crazed “hormone monsters” from “Big Mouth,” a character referred to as “D*ck Pinwheel” – I’ll spare you the description of what it looks like – and worse.
And although the stories don’t revolve around adolescent characters, episodes still contain disturbing, sexualizing references to children, like the hormone monster who says, “I mean, I'm perfectly satisfied getting children to touch their privates."
This is sick, twisted stuff. And it’s designed to attract young viewers while normalizing the sexualization of young children. And because it is animated, the program’s producers are able to depict things that would be impossible -- or even illegal -- with a live-action series.
Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to put a stop to this kind of content on Netflix. We are communicating with the FBI and the US Department of Justice, demanding that they investigate whether dialogue and depictions such as this are in violation of federal laws designed to protect children. We are supporting law enforcement officers in Texas who are working to hold Netflix accountable for violating the Lone Star State’s criminal statutes. We are waging a corporate shareholder resolution campaign that will require Netflix investors to vote whether the company will continue to sexually exploit children for profit. And we have much, much more planned.
But right now, if you still subscribe to Netflix, I urge you to BLOCK this title. And more than that, make sure you are using all available parental controls. Limit the number of devices in your home that have access to your Netflix account and keep those devices in public spaces.
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