• “Big Mouth” is Coming to Netflix on Friday: Beware of this Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

    by  • September 26, 2017 • Other • 1 Comment

    Big-Mouth

    Although cartoons for adult audiences are neither a new nor a revolutionary idea, until fairly recently, even those animated programs designed primarily with grown-ups in mind, like Loony Tunes and The Flintstones, could be safely enjoyed by children. This is no longer the case. The recent trend with cartoons like Allen Gregory, ADHD, and Golan the Insatiable, is to not merely make them with adult viewers in mind, but to make them grossly inappropriate for children.  

    This trend is seeping over into the streaming video world, too, where broadcast decency laws don’t apply, and it isn’t always clear who the intended audience is.

    This Friday, Netflix is debuting a new animated series called Big Mouth, a supposedly humorous take on puberty that makes frequent use of the “F-word,” and deals in graphic and explicit terms with genitalia, menstruation, ‘nocturnal emissions,” and more.  A trailer for this series is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjrklR3g6To

    The series is rated TV-MA, as it should be. But is that enough?

    In our recent special report, Over the Top, or Race to the Bottom: A Parent’s Guide to Streaming Video, the PTC found that Netflix often juxtaposes wholesome, family-friendly cartoons next to adult cartoons on the menu screen, so you might see Finding Dory next to Family Guy. If you don’t know anything about Family Guy, you might assume because of this placement that it is equally suitable for your child.

    We also found that Netflix and other streaming services heavily promote their original content, so there’s a good chance this program will be promoted on home screens and menus, regardless of your viewing history or preferences, and increasing the likelihood that young viewers will see it and that their curiosity will be piqued. Children have a natural tendency to be attracted to animation, and often have trouble discerning which animated products are for them, and which are not.

    Streaming video is fast becoming a favored alternative to traditional over-the-air broadcast and cable TV, especially for families with young children; but it can also provide a false sense of security. If you use Netflix in your home, this is a good time to make sure you have the parental controls enabled, and that you are also using any additional parental controls built-in to your streaming device.

    If you see inappropriate placements or promotions for Big Mouth, please let us know in the comments.

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    About

    Ms. Henson is a noted expert on entertainment industry trends and the how the impact of entertainment affects children and the American popular culture at large. She also directs the organization’s Advertiser Accountability Campaign, which encourages companies to sponsor family-friendly entertainment. She previously supervised the research and program content analysis operations of the PT and produced a number of groundbreaking PTC studies that document the levels of graphic sex, violence and profanity on television. Some of those reports include: The Ratings Sham I & II, Dying to Entertain, Faith in a Box, The Sour Family Hour, The Blue Tube, and TV Bloodbath. She began her career with the PTC in 1997 as an entertainment analyst, documenting instances of inappropriate content on television. Ms. Henson has appeared on a variety of television shows including Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story, CNN Headline News’ ShowBiz Tonight, CNBC’s On the Money, MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, and CBN’s Newswatch. She is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the country and has been quoted extensively in news sources such asEntertainment Weekly, Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Variety, Associated Press, Reuters, and Bloomberg. Ms. Henson is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she received a BA in Government. She resides in Falls Church, Va., with her husband and their son.

    One Response to “Big Mouth” is Coming to Netflix on Friday: Beware of this Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

    1. NeversideFaerie
      October 1, 2017 at 12:39 pm

      I wasn’t happy to see that today on English Netlfix, the first four programmes you see under the “Popular On Netflix” banner are ‘The Magic School Bus Rides Again’, ‘Big Mouth’, ‘Lego Ninjago’ and ‘Paw Patrol’, in that exact order. Unless children are being supervised by their parents or are using the kids’ section, there is a considerable risk for them to watch ‘Big Mouth’ thinking it’s for them. I don’t even think Netflix would ask for a password or something before they try to watch the show, which is pretty concerning. I personally think that tv shows/films with certain ratings should have parental controls on them to prevent accidental exposures.

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