She Raised the Alarm. Hollywood Actually Listened This Time

show dogs

You’ve heard about the power of the pen. Here’s an example of the power of the byte.

A Hollywood movie studio is taking its already released movie “Show Dogs” back to the editing room after For Every Mom writer Jenny Rapson criticized the movie for grooming children for sex abuse.

“Max’s success is riding on whether or not he lets both his partner (for practice) and a stranger (the competition judge) touch his private parts. IN A KIDS MOVIE. WHAT??? Newsflash, folks: THIS IS CALLED GROOMING and it’s what sexual predators do to kids!”

The new PG-rated film, which stars Ludacris as the voice of a talking police dog named Max who has to infiltrate a prestigious dog show, includes a subplot that involves Max becoming comfortable with strangers touching his genitals.  The scenes showed the dog didn’t like being touched but was “told to go to a ‘zen place.'”

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the group previously known as Morality in Media, also condemned the film.

The group’s executive director Dawn Hawkins told CNN:

“Disturbingly, these are similar tactics child abusers use when grooming children — telling them to pretend they are somewhere else, and that they will get a reward for withstanding their discomfort,” Hawkins said. “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.”

In a statement, the film’s producers agreed to make changes to the movie that opened in theaters on May 18th.

“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.”

The company added: “We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of ‘Show Dogs’ sent an inappropriate message.”

“I am very surprised, and yet thrilled that Global Road Entertainment listened to the voices of concerned parents and made edits to the film,” Rapson said of the decision to make changes to the movie. “Honestly, I expected them to double down and leave the film as-is, and I greatly appreciate that they took action so quickly. I am also thankful that so many parents joined with me to use their voices to effect change for our kids.”

Meanwhile, one of film’s two credited writers, Max Botkin, denied involvement in crafting the controversial scenes, telling CNN that while the film was based on his original script, he was not part of the rewriting process, which involved 12 uncredited writers.

“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,” he said in a statement. “I understand and empathize with the parents’ and groups’ concerns regarding the message the movie may impart.”

The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend.

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Bob Ditmer
Bob Ditmer has worked in Christian media for more than 20 years including positions with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and Focus on the Family.

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