Education, Health, and Safety

Some US senators are asking the TV ratings board to shield kids from LGBTQ characters

Are LGBTQ characters harmful to children?

A group of Senate Republicans are asking the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to help parents shield their children from LGBTQ content.

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.”

In the recent letter, Sen. Roger Marshall, along with other Republican senators, have pointed out Nickelodeon shows they are concerned about. The shows are – “Danger Force” and “The Loud House”.

There is also concern over a character in the She-Ra series on Netflix who is named “Double Trouble”,  The character is voiced by Jacob Tobia who is self described nonbinary actor. The Netflix series also features multiple same-sex relationships which some senators are objecting to. 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. US Senators. Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Braun (Ind.), Steve Daines (Mont.) and Kevin Cramer (N.D.) also signed the letter.

Some Republicans seem to be retaliating against Disney for speaking out against a Florida law signed by Governor Ron DeSantis that prohibits instruction related to sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida schools.

“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 sought to give parents more control over the types of TV shows their kids watch by requiring TV manufacturers to use technology to block programs with mature-content ratings in the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Under the TV guidelines board’s current ratings, TV-G shows have no sexual dialogue or situations, TV-PG allows for some sexual content, and TV-14 has some intense sexual content.

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

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