What Hollywood (and Washington) Needs to Resolve to Change for Families in 2021

Written by PTC | Published January 4, 2021

As we usher in 2021, we anticipate that the trend of children’s increased screen time due to the pandemic will only be amplified.

That leaves children even more vulnerable to being exposed to explicit content that Hollywood markets to them.

With that in mind, we have created New Year’s resolutions for Hollywood and Washington to better protect children.

1) Disney: As the majority owner of Hulu, the Disney Corporation must adopt a policy against the sexualization of children, immediately halt production on programs like PEN15, purportedly a coming-of-age series centering on seventh-graders that carries a deliberately provocative title and graphic, sexually-explicit content, and refuse to air programming that glamorizes illegal sex between adults and children. How can Disney’s current course be reconciled with its decades-long brand as a trusted source for safe, family-friendly entertainment?

2) Netflix: The streaming giant’s Board of Directors and shareholders must hold Netflix executives accountable for green-lighting content like Cuties and Big Mouth that sexualize children for entertainment, all of which creates an environment that leaves children vulnerable to – even groomed-for – sexual abuse.

3) Federal Communications Commission: The age-based TV content ratings system has failed the families it was designed to serve, even according to the FCC’s own review. The FCC must pick up where it left off, and push for meaningful reform of the ratings system to benefit families. Streaming media platforms must adopt the same, improved, rating system.

4) U.S. Congress: Families must be given the opportunity to filter out explicit content from streaming media platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. As such, Congress must finally pass an update to the Family Movie Act of 2005.

5) U.S. Department of Justice: The incoming Biden Administration must commit its Justice Department to vigorously enforce obscenity and child pornography laws, and prosecute entertainment companies that sexually exploit children for profit.

6) AT&T: The new executive leadership at AT&T should cease its corporate practice of profiting as a pornographic sewer pipe that delivers explicit, child-themed pornography via its DirecTV and HBO subsidiaries, and in its programming such as Euphoria. Instead, the company should return to its roots as a responsible corporate citizen.

7) Entertainment Industry: Because of social-distancing requirements under COVID, TV and movie production companies were reportedly required to be creative in their approach to on-screen intimacy. We call on the industry to continue – even after social distancing restrictions are lifted – to be more judicious in how they depict intimacy on screen.

We sincerely believe that these changes are within reach, and would immediately result in the betterment of children and families across our nation. When Hollywood uses its powerful influence for good, nobody is better. And there is no better cause than to lift up our youngest generation.

Take Action. Stay Informed.