Oct 17, 2021
JERUSALEM WEATHER

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Netflix is under fire for its animated “children” series, Big Mouth with detractors claiming it constitutes child pornography.

First aired in 2017, the series is currently in its fourth season. According to its creators, Big Mouth explores puberty while “embrac[ing] a frankness about the human body and sex.” The series follows a group of teenage 7th graders as they navigate their way through puberty with struggles like masturbation and sexual arousal. The show has garnered critical acclaim and won many awards including several Emmys. 

But not everyone is so pleased with the show. The Parents Television and Media Council issued a report last week claiming Big Mouth contains “sexualizing or sexually exploitative content involving children”. The detailed report concluded that across the entire 4.5 hours of programming that comprised “Big Mouth’s” fourth season, each minute of programming featured “almost 4 instances of sex, violence and profane, indecent, or obscene language.” The fourth season contained “17 instances of animated nudity, most of it featuring the genitals of minor-aged characters.” PTC reported “190 sexual references or instances of sexual innuendo.” The series also contained many cases of profanity, including sexually charged language that “the PTC has never seen or heard on any television program [in] its 26-year history.” 

(The editor apologizes for the graphic descriptions below however it is necessary to convey the egregious nature of the offenses. The offensive section will be italicized to allow readers to skip to the less offensive section of the article.)

In one case, one of the male characters invited another boy to touch and taste his genitals which he referred to as a “duck egg”.  In another case, a boy digitally penetrated a young girl. The series contains multiple scenes in which young boys are seen showering together with full-frontal nudity portrayed. In the shower scenes, some of the boys are portrayed with their sexual organs erect. In one scene, a boy is held down and a penis is forced into his mouth. One child offers to perform oral sex on his own father. Another boy character described having sex with his own excrement and then eating it. One character follows a break up with his girlfriend by “discovering” internet pornography. One sexual relationship is between two cousins, both minors. Perhaps the only sexual relationship between adults involves a married woman having an affair. 

“It should shock the conscience to see children sexually exploited for the sake of entertainment and financial profit, as they are on Big Mouth. Seeing children used in this way for the entertainment of adults violates our sensibilities, especially when, across the nation and around the world, sexual assault is spiking, and women and children are being held in sexual bondage,” said PTC President Tim Winter in a statement

“Such material falls squarely within most definitions of pornography,” Winter claimed. “And inasmuch as it features children, we believe this qualifies as child pornography.”

The success of the series led Netflix to partner with Facebook in releasing Handmasters, touted as the “first international masturbation game.” The game rewards players based on their ability to use their smartphones to simulate male masturbation for 20 seconds. 

Netflix has a rich history of programming that sexualizing children. The 2017 movie Desire depicts a 9-year-old girl playing ‘horse’ by straddling a pillow and bringing herself to orgasm. The Netflix series Sex Education v features teens “engaged in graphic sex scenes with dialog so explicit that one might expect to find it in XXX films.” The 2020 movie 365 Days was criticized for glamorizing rape and sexual assault.

Last year, Netflix was indicted in Texas over the “lewd” depiction of children in the film Cuties. 

Several petitions have been launched to protest the Big Mouth series, including one by the National Decency Coalition