A media watchdog is taking action following the launch of FXX’s “Little Demon,” a controversial cartoon about Satan that has yielded a plethora of warnings from faith leaders and media experts.
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Why the PTC Is Speaking Out
Melissa Henson, program director at the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC), a media monitoring organization devoted to protecting kids and families, told CBN’s Faithwire her organization is reaching out to the show’s sponsors to express alarm and alert them to the program’s contents.
“What we are trying to do is alert sponsors — the companies that are paying for ad time on this program — to what it is exactly that they are sponsoring,” Henson said. “We have learned, in the past, companies are buying blocks of time on networks or across a family group of networks.”
Considering FXX is owned by Disney and is affiliated with other FX properties, it’s possible ads could be purchased without a full understanding of where commercials might air.
“You know a time slot,” Henson said. “They don’t always know exactly what it is that their ads are supporting, so we want to make sure that they are informed.”
Henson said networks might promise a certain number of viewers and if a show underperforms, they might look to place ads on other shows. That’s where “Little Demon” comes into the mix.
She said the PTC aims to let advertisers know they have the power to create a “do not buy list,” which helps them instruct advertisers on which shows to avoid.
“We want them to put ‘Little Demon’ on their ‘do not buy’ list to make sure that it is absolutely clear, no matter the circumstances, they do not want their brand appearing in association with this program,” Henson said.
Why It Matters
The PTC believes this tactic could have an impact on “Little Demon,” especially considering the importance of advertising dollars and the fact the series, according to Henson, breaks “new ground for ad-supported basic cable” in terms of its elevated and concerning themes.
“Advertising dollars are the lifeblood of this industry, and if they’re putting money into this program, then they are tacitly endorsing the content,” she said. “There was a long time when advertisers understood that … they tried to be very responsible and very conscious of where their ads were appearing.”
Despite being designed for adults, “Little Demon” reportedly contains animated nudity, occult violence, and an underage character. PTC found 173 instances of explicit language, 45 instances of violence, and plenty of sexual content in the first three episodes alone.
As Faithwire previously reported, “Little Demon” is about a woman who mates with Satan and produces the antichrist. The devil meets his child when she’s a young teen, which is the basis of the show.
“I want to be clear about this: It involves a 13-year-old character, and it is animated,” Henson said. “And those two element elements alone ensure that it is going to be at least interesting to a lot of kids.”
It’s unclear how advertisers will respond, but the PTC effort shows the debate over “Little Demon” stretches well beyond mere words.
What Faith Leaders Have Said
As Faithwire has reported, pastors and media watchdogs have warned about the show. Mike Signorelli, senior pastor of V1 Church in New York City, told CBN’s Faithwire he believes the series is an effort to normalize anti-biblical sentiment.
“They are trying to desensitize us and our kids to the demonic. It’s that simple. We’ve seen that over and over and over again,” he said. “But a show comes out, and the attempt is to make something [normal] that biblically is not normal — trying to accept something that God clearly opposes, and it’s disgusting.”
And Dr. Ted Baehr, a Hollywood mainstay and the founder of Movieguide, an organization that helps families navigate entertainment content, said he’s neither stunned by the airing of “Little Demon” nor is he surprised by the show’s controversial themes, especially considering culture’s precarious standing.
“Seeing this show is … not surprising,” he told CBN’s Faithwire while discussing the disturbing elements and themes. “This is the direction that our culture is going in.”
Read more about the “Little Demon” battle here.
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