For a movie that’s made all of $7 million, Show Dogs has certainly sparked its fair share of controversy, including (obviously, if you’ve been following the blog lately) here in Plugged In land. I imagine more stories have been written about the flick than people have actually seen it.
Well, the makers of the talking dog movie have heard the hubbub and are now excising a couple of scenes (that some believe either referenced or even primed young viewers for sexual abuse) and tossing them far, far away.
“Responding to concerns raised by moviegoers and some specific organizations, Global Road Entertainment has decided to remove two scenes from the film ‘Show Dogs’ that some have deemed not appropriate for children,” Global Road said in a statement. “The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film’s rating.”
The revised film will be in theaters this weekend, and it’ll be interesting to see whether the edits (or even the controversy itself) will translate into bigger box office for the otherwise forgettable flick, or whether the film will just, simply, fade from public consciousness. (We’ll get back to you on Tuesday with at least a partial answer.)
But Show Dogs isn’t the only show spawning angry blowback and think pieces. Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why—which it seems like we just stopped covering in Culture Clips—returned for its second season. And like the first, it’s proven to be a telegenic lightning rod.
Some folks, naturally, are saying that the second season just isn’t very good. And Netflix actually cancelled a theater-based premiere event for the series, which deals with a potential school shooting, following the real-life school tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas. But much of the criticism has centered on a graphic rape scene depicted in the final episode (involving a teen and a mop handle), which critics have called “horrifying.” Brian Yorkey, the show’s creator, defended the scene in a statement:
When we talk about something being ‘disgusting’ or hard to watch, often that means we are attaching shame to the experience. We would rather not be confronted with it. We would rather it stay out of our consciousness. This is why these kinds of assaults are underreported. This is why victims have a hard time seeking help. We believe that talking about it is so much better than silence.
But that hasn’t quelled the controversy, with the Parents Television Council calling for Netflix to cancel it, with PTC president Tim Winter calling it a “ticking time bomb.”
That may be a particularly relevant alarm bell, given that. as we’ve reported before, experts are seeing a drastic rise in major depression and suicide in kids and teens. (Black kids are apparently at twice the risk as white kids are.) Hospitals are apparently seeing more troubled youngsters at risk of suicide coming through their doors, too. And many health experts believe that 13 Reasons Why can lead viewers down dangerous trains of thought.
Meanwhile, Deadpool 2—filled as it is with incredibly foul language and acts of unspeakable violence—is, um, not generating any controversy at all. But USA Today‘s Karina Bland reminds parents that maybe it’s not such a good movie to take the kiddies to. And that goes for other R-rated flicks, too. “No one wants to sit in the same row as a 10-year-old during a sex scene,” she writes.
Parents have to worry about more than R-rated movies and TV shows, though. Screens themselves can impact a child’s gray matter a great deal, and NBC details just how. And if you’re reading email on a screen … well, just be aware that scams, spam and phishing ploys are pervasive and only going to get worse.
The #MeToo scandal continues to tick along, as well. And even as some wonder whether alleged abusers and harassers should ever be allowed back in the public’s good graces (Time‘s Jill Filipovic says not), another prominent actor—the gravitas-voiced actor Morgan Freeman—has been accused by several women of inappropriate behavior.
That’s a whole boatload of kinda depressing news, I realize. But while money can’t buy happiness, it can at least buy a lighter conclusion to culture clips. Some enterprising folks are now offering a nifty little biceps weight with a clip for your iPhone. That’s right. If you’re reading these “weighty” clips on your pocketsize portable device right now, at least you can get ripped while doing so … as long as you have $100, that is.