The filmmakers behind the children’s movie “Show Dogs” have agreed to remove a controversial plot line that includes a character who must mentally go their “zen place” in order to endure an inspection of their genitals.
In the movie, a dog character voiced by a human tries to infiltrate the professional dog show circuit by going undercover. Because of this, he will have to have his genitals fondled as a requirement to pass on to the dog show finals. The dog is told to go to his “zen place” in order to deal with the trauma of having his genitals fondled. Before the fondling, the dog makes it clear he does not want this to happen.
During the actual fondling scene, the movie shows the character going to his “zen place” with a fade away to him flying through the air, with fireworks going off all around him. Apparently, this is the magical “zen place” he has gone to ignore the fondling.
He then returns to his normal self, and the genital fondling is over. The character is rewarded for his submissive behavior by moving on to the finals and completing the mission.
Immediately there was a strong reaction from movie goers as well as the National Centers on Sexual Exploitation who found the scene and plot line totally inappropriate for a children’s movie. Not only that, many also found shocking and disturbing similarities between this scene and the way child abusers groom their victims to tolerate uncomfortable sexual advances and touching.
The producers, who after the outcry apologized, put out the following statement.
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. 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.
Of course, one has to wonder how nobody involved with the production of the movie put up any red flags over such a scene. A character in a child’s movie that needs to mentally go into a trance like state in order to endure the fondling of their genitals is extremely disturbing. The obvious similarities between this scene and grooming tactics used by pedophiles should have been immediately apparent.
For some, this just adds more fuel to the speculation that there has been an increase in grooming efforts being masqueraded as entertainment in our culture over the last few years. For example, last year a theory started regarding “Elsa Gate” in which a huge amount of animated videos appeared on YouTube that showed popular children’s characters being tied up, penetrated with knives or syringes, offered booze, and even killed. These videos had billions of views combined and it even attracted the attention of mainstream media outlets like this New York Times article that agreed the content and the mysterious creation of it is indeed strange. Some have suggested these Elsa-Gate style videos appear to also be grooming tools to desensitize children to such images and behavior, as was suggested about the Show Dogs scene.
The producers of Show Dogs originally defended the scenes by saying that what was shown in the movie is an accurate depiction of what happens at dog shows all around the country.
From the producers – “The dog show judging in this film is depicted completely accurately as done at shows around the world; and was performed by professional and highly respected dog show judges.”
But the problem with such an argument is that once you start giving the characters human voices and behavior, you are basically showing humans in that situation, not dogs.
But hopefully, this will send a message that creators need to be much more careful of what they produce for children. And parents need to be much more engaged in what their children watch as well, since there is often now way to know what motives creators have when producing content aimed at your children.