GOP senators call on TV ratings board to help parents shield kids from LGBTQ characters

Stepping up the culture war with Disney and other entertainment providers sympathetic to exposing kids to gender-identity themes, a group of Senate Republicans is calling on the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to help parents shield their children from LGBTQ characters and situations.  

The television monitoring board already helps parents identify programing with violent or sexual content, and now Republican lawmakers want it to alert them to “sexual orientation and gender identity content on children’s TV shows.”  

Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), one of the signatories to a new letter to Charles Rivkin, the chairman of the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, has identified to the Kansas City Star the Nickelodeon shows “Danger Force” and “The Loud House” and the Netflix show “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” as causes for concern.  

One character on “She-Ra,” Double Trouble, is a nonbinary shape-shifting mercenary voiced by Jacob Tobia, a self-described nonbinary actor. The series also features multiple same-sex relationships.

Nickelodeon made network history last year when it cast a trans teen actor to play a role in “Danger Force.”

Republican senators warn these characters could become harmful influences on young children.

“This radical and sexual sensation not only harms children, but also destabilizes and damages parental rights,” the senators wrote in a letter to Rivkin.

GOP Sens. Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Braun (Ind.), Steve Daines (Mont.) and Kevin Cramer (N.D.) also signed the letter.  

The Republicans specifically take aim at Disney, which has drawn the ire of conservatives for speaking out against a Florida law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) prohibiting instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity for kids in kindergarten through third grade.  

“Recently, a video emerged showing a prominent executive at children’s entertainment giant Disney saying she supports having ‘many, many, many LGBTQIA+ characters in our stories.’ To the detriment of children, gender dysphoria has become sensationalized in the popular media and television with radical activists and entertainment companies,” the senators wrote.  

The lawmakers note that Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 sought to give parents more ability to control the types of television shows watched by their kids by requiring TV manufacturers to use technology to block programs with mature-content ratings. 

Under the TV guidelines board’s current ratings, TV-G shows contain no sexual dialogue or situations, while TV-PG shows can include some sexual situations and TV-14 programming can include intense sexual situations.  

Republican senators want parents to know if their kids are watching shows with LGBTQ themes, as well.  

“Considering that the cognitive markers of sexual desire emerge during puberty when adolescents undergo natural hormonal and physiological changes, it is wholly inappropriate to display this content in a TV-Y7 category and for other young audiences,” they wrote. 

The senators argue the board is obligated to ensure its rating criteria inform parents about mature content before it’s seen by children.  

They have asked to receive a response by May 18 and for an in-person briefing with members of the board.  

Tags Disney LGBTQ LGBTQ representation Mike Lee Netflix Roger Marshall Ron DeSantis She-Ra

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