Five Republican senators want the U.S. television rating system to warn parents of “sexual orientation and gender identity content” in children’s programming.
Their letter to the TV Parental Guidance Oversight Committee leans toward a debate around how and when to teach these topics to America’s youth.
“Sex-related topics have been actively politicized and promoted in children’s programming in recent years, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders such as gender dysphoria. To this end, we strongly urge you to update your TV parental guidelines, And make sure they’re up-to-date with best practices to help inform parents about this disturbing content,” wrote Mike Braun of Indiana, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Mike Lee of Utah, North Kevin Cramer of Dakota and Steve Daines of Montana.
Created in 1996 to help parents understand age-appropriate programming, the guide uses icons such as TV-G, TV-PG and TV-MA in the corner of the screen.
“Sexual content not only negatively affects and exploits young audiences, it also harms child actors. Time and again, child actors from major children’s TV channels, including Disney, have exposed the trauma of being sexualized at an early age, ‘ the senators wrote.
Their efforts to boost ratings have coincided with a broader debate over gender identity and sexual orientation guidelines.
Florida recently passed a law prohibiting the teaching of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, prompting critics to call it a “don’t say gay” bill.
Supporters of the measure say it empowers parents, with some suggesting some liberals want to “raise” children to a certain gender identity.
“The incentives of overly sexualized entertainment producers to push this content to younger audiences are dubious at best and predatory at worst,” the Republican senator said in the letter.
The Television Parental Guidance Oversight Committee told NBC News it had received the letter but declined to comment to the outlet.