Written by PTC | Published September 16, 2022
You’ve heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” The idea is that if you eat healthful, nutritious food, it follows that you will be healthy.
The same is true of a child’s media diet. They become what they frequently consume – and it looks like what they are consuming is darkness.
Reporting about the recent Emmys broadcast, the Associated Press noted this TV trend: The evening’s uplifting tone, as voiced especially by Zendaya, Lizzo and Sheryl Lee Ralph, was in contrast to the darkness that pervaded the storytelling of the best drama series winner “Succession” and even comedy series victor “Ted Lasso.”
AP should have included in that summary HBO’s “Euphoria,” which earned actress Zendaya an Emmy for the second year in a row for her portrayal of a drug-addicted high schooler.
Euphoria revels in darkness, without any messages of hope or redemption.
Is it any wonder, then, that anxiety and depression are at an all-time high among America’s teens when they are the ones chiefly consuming all this media darkness?
Our nation’s children are at risk with the messages they see and hear in entertainment programming and in social media. According to the National Institutes of Health, suicide is now the second-leading cause of death to children ages 10-14. The Surgeon General has warned about a mental health crisis among young people.
And could it get any darker than an occult-themed show about the antichrist daughter of a wiccan mother and the devil? That’s what Disney is serving up over on FXX on the new animated series, “Little Demon.”
Hollywood will claim that it is only giving audiences what they want. That’s only part of the story. The reality is that in its quest to edge out the competition, each TV production company wants to break new ground. The problem is that Hollywood is consistently digging into the darkness, serving this to audiences, and calling it “good.”
What people need is hope, and an opportunity for redemption. Hollywood, if it wanted to, could help lead the healing process by producing and marketing more light, more hope, more aspiration – and far less darkness – to children, and in fact to everyone.
That’s why we do what we do. We want to see children grow and thrive and flourish, but they won’t as long as these dark messages prevail in the media they are consuming.