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‘Show Dogs’: Filmmakers Apologize to Parents Who Claim Its Message Could Make Children Vulnerable to Sexual Predators

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation and PETA have also taken issue with the PG-rated comedy starring Will Arnett and Ludacris.

By Jenna Marotta | 22 May 2018

UPDATED (May 23): Cineplex Australia has dropped “Show Dogs” from its theaters, and the NCOSE is calling on America’s two largest theater chains, AMC and Regal, to pull the film as well. In a second statement, the group’s executive director said the movie contains “essentially a sextortion scenario” and “a textbook sexual abuser move — it would be impossible to calculate the number of times sexual abusers coerce minors into various sexual activities (everything from sending nude pictures to sex trafficking them) by using the threat of something bad happening to someone else if they don’t comply.”

INDIE WIRE — The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has scolded Will Arnett’s latest film, the PG-rated “Show Dogs,” as potentially dangerous viewing for kids. While the May 18 release sounds innocent, if a bit perplexing — a police dog (voiced by Chris “Ludacris” Bridges) infiltrates a Vegas canine competition to save a stolen panda — but the nonprofit claims the caper “sends a troubling message that grooms children for sexual abuse.”

In a Tuesday statement published on the center’s website, NCOSE executive director Dawn Hawkins called out “multiple scenes where a dog character must have its private parts inspected, in the course of which the dog is uncomfortable and wants to stop but is told to go to a ‘zen place,’” content expected to raise film executives’ eyebrows in the #MeToo era.

Hawkins continued, “The dog is rewarded with advancing to the final round of the dog show after passing this barrier. 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. 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.” […]

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