A prominent family media watchdog group is arguing that Netflix is “sexually exploiting children for entertainment and profit” through its hit series Big Mouth and is urging the platform to take the show down.
Big Mouth, which first premiered in 2017, is an animated sitcom that follows a group of minor-aged characters as they “find their lives upended by the wonders and horrors of puberty,” Netflix says of the show on its website. The show is rated TV-MA and is meant for adult viewers only.
On Wednesday, the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) published a report expressing concerns that the show depicts its teenage characters in sexual situations and contains multiple instances of crude language and sexually explicit dialogue.
In the report, the watchdog group noted that Big Mouth’s fourth season, which was released last December, featured “almost 4 instances of sex, violence and profane, indecent, or obscene language.”
According to The Christian Post, the PTC report also included graphic screenshots of “sexualizing or sexually exploitative content involving children” across the fourth season’s 10 episodes.
One screenshot shows a graphic depiction of a menstrual cycle. Another shows a character comparing his genitals to two duck eggs in a “hairy nest” and telling another character to touch and “taste” it.
Additionally, PTC counted “17 instances of animated nudity, most of it featuring the genitals of minor-aged characters,” plus “190 sexual references or instances of sexual innuendo.”
In response to the report’s findings, PTC President Tim Winter denounced the Netflix show for sexually exploiting children “for the sake of entertainment and financial profit.”
“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,” Winter stated. “We would have thought that Hollywood, following on the heels of its reckoning with the #MeToo movement, would eschew the production and distribution of programming that centers on sexual exploitation.
“It is unfathomable that Netflix hosts a program suggesting a child be held down and having a penis forced into his mouth; that a child would offer to fellate his own father; that a character would suggest having sex with his own excrement and then eat it. But that, and more, is on Netflix’s Big Mouth,” he cautioned.
Winter also urged authorities to investigate whether Big Mouth broke child pornography laws as its content “falls squarely within most definitions of pornography” and ultimately, child pornography due to the show’s minor-aged characters.
He warned that the “ultimate impact” of the show is to either “desensitize children and adolescents” with its sexually explicit content or to present kids “as sexually willing, precocious, and adventuresome to adult viewers.”
“Neither scenario should be considered acceptable. Neither has a place in our society,” Winter asserts.
PTC previously criticized Netflix after it created a masturbation game in partnership with Facebook in 2018. The game, Hand Masters, was created to promote Big Mouth’s first season.
The game, which was described as the “first international masturbation game,” required players to simulate male masturbation by shaking their smartphones vigorously for 20 seconds.