A new USA Today story, “Are YA Shows Too Explicit?,” reveals that Hollywood is increasingly marketing explicit content to children and teens in TV shows set in junior high or high schools.
The latest example of this disturbing trend is HBO’s Euphoria, and its creator is defending the use of full frontal male and female nudity and drug use since it reportedly mirrors his own life experiences. Euphoria Actress Zendaya even warned fans, “There are scenes that are graphic, hard to watch, and can be triggering.”
But this isn’t the only explicit show Hollywood is selling to kids (while claiming that they aren’t targeting kids, no less) – Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, Sex Education, Big Mouth, and Hulu’s PEN15 are among some of the most graphic shows targeting children and teens.
As Parents Television Council President Tim Winter warned in the USA Today story, “All of these shows are clearly marketing the most extreme, explicit behavior and conduct to children and teens. As a result, children are led to believe that such extreme conduct is acceptable. … It is naive to believe that the entertainment children consume cannot have harmful, lasting consequences.”
Parents beware: this “extreme conduct” Mr. Winter referred to is on the rise and is on a TV screen (and computer screen, iPad screen, and smartphone screen) near you. Hollywood is making sure of that. But the result isn’t necessarily a happy ending. The impact to viewers typically is what Hollywood glosses over – much to the detriment of our children.