In the wake of a popular backlash against Disney’s effort to inject LGBTQ activism into children’s shows, a group of Republican senators are calling for updates to America’s TV ratings system to better help parents avoid exposing their children to “disturbing contents.”

The TV Parental Guidelines, first created in 1996, is a voluntary system of guidelines used by American families to determine whether a particular program is age appropriate for their children. Its content is overseen by TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board, which consists of representatives from broadcast and creative industries, as well as those of third party public interest groups.

In a letter (pdf) to the Board’s chairman, Motion Picture Association CEO Charles Rivkin, the senators argued that there’s an imminent need to update TV Parental Guidelines because “topics of a sexual nature” are being “aggressively” promoted in shows meant for children.

The senators specifically pointed to a video that has gone viral on social media, in which Karey Burke, president of Disney’s general entertainment content, said in a company-wide video call that she wants “many, many, many LGBTQIA+ characters in our stories.”

“Gender dysphoria has become sensationalized in the popular media and television with radical activists and entertainment companies,” the letter reads. “This radical and sexual sensation not only harms children, but also destabilizes and damages parental rights.”

The senators also pointed to Disney’s stance against Florida’s new education law, which bans classroom discussion on sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K–3. The dispute has cost Disney a special status that allowed the company to levy tax, build roads, and control utilities on its expansive property in Florida.

“In light of parents raising legitimate concerns on sexual orientation and gender identity content on children’s TV shows, we expect the Board to fulfill its responsibility in updating the TV Parental Guidelines to reflect these concerns,” the senators wrote, adding that they want a response in two weeks.

The letter is led by Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), who is on the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families. He is joined by Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.).

Although not mentioned in the letter, the public outrage against Disney was also partly fueled by another video, in which executive producer Latoya Raveneau said at an internal meeting that she was advancing a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” and that no one in the company tried to stop her from doing so.

“In my little pocket of Proud Family Disney TVA, the showrunners were super welcoming … to my not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” she said in the clip obtained by journalist and filmmaker Christopher Rufo. Raveneau is the director on the upcoming animated series, “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” a reboot of the early 2000s classic “The Proud Family.”

“I felt like maybe it was that way in the past but I guess something must have happened—they’re turning it around, they’re going hard,” Raveneau said, adding that she was “just, wherever I could, adding queerness” and “no one would stop me, no one was trying to stop me.”


Bill Pan is a reporter for The Epoch Times.

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