Written by PTC | Published September 15, 2021
New Report Questions Whether Child Pornography Law Have Been Broken
LOS ANGELES (September 14, 2021) – In a new research report, the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) details how Netflix program Big Mouth is grooming children for sexual abuse. Big Mouth is an animated TV series about middle schoolers depicting 12 and 13-year-old children in sexual situations and engaging in sexual dialogue.
The PTC study, The Big Program with Big Mouth, found the program’s fourth season contained sexualizing or sexually exploitative content involving children that included: a minor offering to perform oral sex on his own father; a minor exposing his scrotum; minors shown in a shower with erect penises; a minor urinating on another minor in the shower; a male minor character penetrating a female minor character with his fingers.
“It should shock the conscience to see children sexually exploited for the sake of entertainment and financial profit, as they are on Big Mouth. Seeing children used in this way for the entertainment of adults violates our sensibilities, especially when, across the nation and around the world, sexual assault is spiking, and women and children are being held in sexual bondage. We would have thought that Hollywood, following on the heels of its reckoning with the #MeToo movement, would eschew the production and distribution of programming that centers on sexual exploitation,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
“It is unfathomable that Netflix hosts a program suggesting a child be held down and having a penis forced into his mouth; that a child would offer to fellate his own father; that a character would suggest having sex with his own excrement and then eat it. But that, and more, is on Netflix’s Big Mouth.
“Depicting the full-frontal nudity of little boys – some with erections, no less – can only be intended to shock, titillate and pander to the viewer. Such material falls squarely within most definitions of pornography. And inasmuch as it features children, we believe this qualifies as child pornography. We are urging law enforcement to determine whether child pornography laws have been broken.
“The ultimate impact of a program like Big Mouth is either to desensitize children and adolescents and make them more comfortable with sexually graphic material; or to present children as sexually willing, precocious, and adventuresome to adult viewers. Neither scenario should be considered acceptable. Neither has a place in our society.
“This program is especially concerning when reported cases of child sex abuse broke all previous records. The National Center on Missing and Exploited Children reports more than 21.7 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation made to NCMEC’s CyberTipline -- the highest number of reports ever received in one year. And the BBC has just reported that reports of sex abuse in the UK between children has doubled in a two-year period, increasing from 8,000 incidents in 2017 to 15,000-16,000 in 2019.
“With the publication of this report, we call on Netflix to cease its practice of sexually exploiting children for entertainment and profit, and to remove Big Mouth from its distribution platform,” Winter concluded.
All 10 episodes of the most recent season (Season 4) of the animated Netflix series Big Mouth were examined by trained and experienced PTC Staff. The total program run-time was 270 minutes (41⁄2 hours). Every instance – whether expressed verbally or depicted visually – of profanity, sexual content, anatomical references, violent content and substance use/abuse, was tallied. Relevant dialogue was transcribed, and explicit visual depictions were captured and/or described, in order to maintain the context of the program content.
· Examples of sexualizing or sexually exploitative content involving children include: A minor offers to perform oral sex on his own father; A minor exposes his scrotum; Minors are shown in a shower with erect penises; A minor urinates on another minor in a shower; A male minor character penetrates a female minor character with his fingers;
· Although most of the explicit content on this show is verbal, that is not exclusively the case. Episodes contained visual depictions of sexual behavior, including depictions of the 12 and 13- year-old characters masturbating, and animated depictions of the genitals of the 12 and 13- year-old characters.
· Across 10 episodes, there were 17 instances of animated nudity, most of it featuring the genitals of minor-aged characters.
· Big Mouth featured almost 4 instances of sex, violence, and profane, indecent, or obscene language per minute of programming: 1081 instances across 4.5 hours.
· Far and away, “Fuck” (284) and “Shit” (124) were the most used profanities.
· Big Mouth used language – especially slang terms for male and female anatomy – that the PTC has never seen or heard on any television program its 26-year history.
· In addition to the above, across ten episodes, there were 190 sexual references or instances of sexual innuendo.
· Episodes also featured “exotic” sexual behaviors that would be far outside the experience of an average 13-year-old.
· A character states that he will have sex with excrement and then eat it.
The full report, “The Big Problem with Big Mouth,” can be found here.