The filmmakers behind new animated movie “Show Dogs” have made an unprecedented apology following widespread criticism of scenes which deemed to portray inappropriate touching. The alarm was raised by one mother, Terina Maldonado who wrote a blog about how she had taken her kids to see the fun PG-rated movie, when suddenly they were confronted with a scene that left her utterly horrified.
“What could have been solely a fun movie for kids that would get my highest recommendation is damaged by a dark and disturbing message hidden, not so subtly between the fluffy dogs and glamorous parties of the show dog lifestyle,” she wrote at Macaroni Kid, an online parenting resource. “As part of any dog show, contestants are judged on their abilities and physical attributes. One part, in particular, is the inspection of the dog’s private parts.”
Maldonado recalled that, due to Max being new to the competition, he was required to “learn the process,” so his partner, Frank offers to touch him.
Please do not take your children to see #showdogs movie. It teaches children that touching of privates is okay and to go to a "zen place" when it happens. Child sex abuse is real. This is not okay. #showdogsmovie @arnettwill
— Megan Nau (@NauMegan) May 22, 2018
“Since the inspection of the private parts will happen in the finals, Frank touches Max’s private parts to get him use to it,” she added. “Of course, Max doesn’t like it and snaps at Frank for him to stop. Max is then told by the former champion, who has been through the process before, that he needs to go to his ‘zen place’ while it happens so he can get through it. More attempts are made by Frank to touch Max’s private parts, but Max is still having trouble letting it happen and keeps snapping at him.”
Maldonado was shocked that the message being put across in this children’s movie was that if Max did not allow another dog to touch his private parts, he would lose the competition as a result.
“The judge’s hands slowly reach behind Max and he goes to his ‘zen place.’ He’s flying through the sky, dancing with his partner, there are fireworks and flowers-everything is great-all while someone is touching his private parts,” she explained.
This, she said, was a completely inappropriate message to portray for an audience of minors.
Since the uproar, filmmakers have decided to remove the two scenes in question
“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,” a spokesperson told CBN News.
“The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film’s rating. We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of SHOW DOGS sent an inappropriate message. The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend.”
“I absolutely condemn any suggestion or act of non-consensual touching in any form, as well as disassociation as a coping mechanism for abuse of any kind,” screenwriter Max Botkin said in a statement, as reported by CNN. “I understand and empathise with the parents’ and groups’ concerns regarding the message the movie may impart.”
Maldonado was not the only one to voice her concerns.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation said that the film introduces children to unwanted genital touching.
The organization released a statement about the movie’s questionable scene, condemning the filmmakers for releasing such vile content.
“The movie ‘Show Dogs’ sends a troubling message that grooms children for sexual abuse,” said Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “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.”
Since news broke that further action has been taken to edit the movie in order to make it more appropriate for young eyes, The National Center on Sexual Exploitation released a victorious statement.
“We’re very thankful to all the activists around the country who demanded that Global Road Entertainment re-cut the movie ‘Show Dogs’ so that there is no implication of child sex abuse or child grooming in this movie that is directed at children,” Patrick Trueman, CEO and President of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation told CBN News.
(H/T: CBN News)