Could a kids’ movie about talking animals be making children more vulnerable to sexual abuse? Believe it or not, that’s what one group is claiming about the new movie “Show Dogs“.
It’s about a police dog named Max …voiced by Ludacris…who goes undercover at a dog show to help locate a stolen baby panda.
Now, part of participating in a dog show is having your genitals inspected. But Max isn’t having that…even when his human partner Will Arnett tries to get him used to the idea.
But Max needs to endure it in order to stay in the competition and crack the case. So another dog tells him to just go to his zen place and let it happen.
When the moment of truth arrives, Max allows his privates to be touched…while he’s imagining a place full of flowers and fireworks, where he’s happily dancing and flying through the sky.
And now, on to the “controversy”:
A group called the National Center on Sexual Exploitation says that this normalizes unwanted genital contact.
“Disturbingly, these are similar tactics child abusers use when grooming children…telling them to pretend they are somewhere else, and that they will get a reward for withstanding their discomfort.
“Children’s movies must be held to a higher standard, and must teach children bodily autonomy, the ability to say ‘no’ and safety, not confusing messages endorsing unwanted genital touching.”
They want the movie recut to remove the entire subplot.
The producers haven’t said whether they’ll do that, but they did release a statement defending the genital examination as an accurate depiction of something that’s done at “dog shows around the world.”
They added, “We are saddened and apologize to any parent who feels the scene sends a message other than a comedic moment in the film, with no hidden or ulterior meaning, but respect their right to react to any piece of content.”