Here’s the T: Some in the GOP want TV-PG to include LGBTQ.
A group of Republican senators is urging the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to warn parents when shows feature LGBTQ characters or content.
In a letter sent to the board’s chairman Charles Rivkin earlier this week, the five GOP lawmakers expressed concern about certain “topics of a sexual nature” currently being shown on television, which they believe could harm children and damage parental rights.
The senators — Roger Marshall of Kansas; Mike Lee of Utah; Mike Braun of Indiana; Steve Daines of Montana; and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota — were specifically referring to LGBTQ content, and repeatedly mentioned Disney in their letter.
They are requesting a response by Rivkin “no later than Wednesday, May 18,” and they also want an in-person meeting with members of the Monitoring Board, which is responsible to ensure uniformity and consistency in applying ratings on television programs, such as TV-MA, TV-PG and TV-14.
“In recent years, concerning topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria,” the senators wrote in the letter, without specifying what those “treatments” were.
“To this end, we strongly urge you to update the TV Parental Guidelines and ensure they are up-to-date on best practices that help inform parents on this disturbing content,” the letter added.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, “gender dysphoria” is not considered a “disorder,” and it is defined as a “marked incongruence between their experienced or expressed gender and the one they were assigned at birth.”
But according to the five senators, “gender dysphoria has become sensationalized in the popular media and television with radical activists and entertainment companies,” something that “not only harms children but also destabilizes and damages parental rights.”
The letter specifically mentions a recent interview with Karey Burke, the president of Disney’s General Entertainment Content, who said she supports having “many, many, many LGBTQIA+ characters in our stories.”
It also casts some doubts on “hyper-sexualized entertainment producers striving to push this content on young audiences,” saying that their motivations are “suspect at best and predatory at worst.”
In conclusion, the senators write that “in light of parents raising legitimate concerns on sexual orientation and gender identity content on children’s TV shows, we expect the Board to fulfill its responsibility in updating the TV Parental Guidelines to reflect these concerns. In updating the TV Parental Guidelines, please consider precedent on how the Board has rated sexually related, violent, and obscene materials to ensure it is applied without ideological bias.”
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