Culture Clips: Show Dogs Comes to Heel

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cutting film

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.

Who wrote this?

Paul Asay has been writing for Plugged In since 2007 and loves superheroes and finding God in unexpected places. In addition, Paul has also written several books, with his newest—Burning Bush 2.0—recently published by Abingdon Press. When Paul’s not reviewing movies, he hikes with his wife, Wendy, runs marathons with his grown kids, Colin and Emily, and beats back unruly houseplants. Follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not suprising to see yet another blog post mocking those who had a problem with the KIDS movie Show Dogs molestation scenes "I imagine more stories have been written about the flick than people have actually seen it."  Still this snarky attitude and still no condemnation of what the NCAE as well as the majority of parents has deemed a dangerous message to our kids. As a Christian organization you would think any touching of genitals would spark a recognition in a movie review. You also didn't mention that as Max has his genitals fondled during the show it fades away to a clip of a flower with the petals floating off. What is the meaning of that? Could it be to insinuate him losing his virginity? Is there really any doubt as to how sexual these scenes were meant to be? Apparently only to PI...

Julienne Dy More than 1 year ago
1.  I'm pretty sure more stories have been written about this movie than people who have seen it.  For example, I haven't seen this movie nor do I plan to, but I've already read three posts about it on this site alone.
2.  PluggedIn doesn't exist to be Chicken Little.  They just watch the movies and call them as they see them.  All they saw was a falling acorn, a little bothersome but nothing worth panicking about.
3.  The only thing that I'm learning from this controversy is that parents need to teach their kids to draw the line between people and animals.  I mean, people are allowed to do things to animals that they would not be allowed to do to people, and the animals aren't bothered by it.  For example, if my family took me to the doctor and had my reproductive organs removed without my consent, I'd be unspeakably angry, but our dogs were fine with it.  They didn't even know they were gone.
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Julienne Dy 12 months ago
I know, right?  Dang!  That movie scares me more as an adult than as a kid, and it scared me plenty as a kid.
seraph_unsung More than 1 year ago
In additional #MeToo news, Paige Patterson is now the former president of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as a result of numerous controversial comments he has made ( http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/article211729379.html ), ranging from topics such as abuse ( http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/editorials/article211788984.html ) to making sexually suggestive comments about a girl who in his own words was not of adult age (not that her being an adult would have entitled him to make such comments against her will).

I think the word "alleged" in this phrase—"alleged abusers and harassers should ever be allowed back in the public’s good graces"—is important.  Filipovic not only speaks of people who have been convicted but outright says, "Of course, if the whole thing is a frame-up, men should vigorously defend themselves. But so far, none of these high-profile stories have offered sufficient evidence to disprove the allegations against these men."

The controversy is not so different from the one the church faces—we are to pray for others, even for our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), but that does not mean we have to submit ourselves to their dangers, nor does it mean that we have to trust them or welcome them.  The guilty may well need to live with the consequences of their actions, even if for the rest of their lives (which in some cases such as Bill Cosby's is probably not a very abstract measure of time).  Yes, we need to investigate the truth, neither being cynical nor gullible, but we also need to ensure the urgent safety of people who are reporting abuse and/or seeking help—we can worry about judicial punishment once we avert further danger.

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My guess as to why Deadpool 2 isn't generating more controversy is because of compartmentalization—if some people say, "Show Dogs and 13 Reasons Why have dangerous implications for our culture and for impressionable young people," but then say, "Deadpool 2 is just a movie whose target audience knows not to take it seriously or emulate it," then it can be easy to see how people might consume the movie and then move on without worrying about it negatively influencing society (whether its production was negatively influenced by society is a different question—especially since the movie had dealt with controversy over one of its stunt doubles dying and the factors that may have led to this https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/8/24/16189896/deadpool-2-stunt-fatality-joi-sj-harris-update ).

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"Talking about rape" doesn't necessarily mean that you have to graphically show it.  The movie Spotlight demonstrated exactly how to do this, and Plugged In specifically pointed out the lack of abuse flashbacks. https://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/spotlight/ The film's important message still came through loud and clear.
charitysplace More than 1 year ago
13RW's second season... really isn't very good. Learning THAT about the final episode makes me glad I lost interest midway through the third episode. :P