A TV watchdog group is calling on Netflix to remove “Big Mouth,” saying the animated series provides troubling depictions of sexualized children.
In a detailed report, the Los Angeles-based Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) hits the cartoon for depicting fully nude children and their genitalia as they go through puberty.
“It’s animated, but I cannot fathom a scenario in which we should be comfortable with even an animated depiction of a 13-year-old’s private parts,” Melissa Hensen, author of the study, told The Washington Times. “It cannot be helpful for our society to encourage adult viewers to be looking at children in this way.”
The report cites several scenes in which a girl talks to her vagina, with the camera zooming in on her vagina while it talks back to her, in addition to other examples.
Ms. Hensen said the show’s gimmick of following several children through puberty, from age 11 in the first season to 13 in the current fourth season, should raise warning flags to parents whose children may stumble across it.
“The process of grooming often involves exposing children to pornography, to desensitize them, to make them more comfortable with it, to make them think it’s no big deal,” Ms. Henson said.
Netflix did not respond to a request for comment on the study.
The U.S. TV parental guidelines rate “Big Mouth” as TV-MA, discouraging anyone under 17 from watching it.
Ms. Henson noted that Netflix has become a concern to some parents due to its tendency to air programs such as “Cuties” that sexualize children.
The PTC’s study notes that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has received 21.7 million reports of suspected child sex abuse on its CyberTipline, making it essential to root out sexualized content in the entertainment industry.