GOP senators to TV ratings board: Warn parents of ‘disturbing’ LGBT, sexualized content

Five Republican senators want the U.S. television rating system to warn parents of “sexual orientation and gender identity content” in children’s shows.

Their letter to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board leans into the debate around how and when to teach America’s youth about these topics.

“In recent years, concerning topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria. To this end, we strongly urge you to update the TV Parental Guidelines and ensure they are up-to-date on best practices that help inform parents on this disturbing content,” wrote Sens. Mike Braun of Indiana, Roger Marshall of Kansas, Mike Lee of Utah, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Steve Daines of Montana.

The guidelines were established in 1996 to help parents understand whether a program is age-appropriate and uses icons such as TV-G, TV-PG and TV-MA in the corner of the screen.

“Sexually-related content not only negatively influences and exploits its young audiences, but also harms child actors. Time and again, child actors from major children’s TV channels, including Disney, have revealed trauma from being sexualized at an early age,” the senators wrote.

Their push to stiffen ratings coincides with a broader debate about instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Florida recently passed a law that prohibited teaching about sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through the third grade, prompting critics to dub it the “don’t say gay” bill.

Proponents of the measure say it empowers parents, and some have suggested some liberals want to “groom” children into a certain sexual identity.

“The motivations of hyper-sexualized entertainment producers striving to push this content on young audiences are suspect at best and predatory at worst,” the Republican senators said in their letter.

The TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board told NBC News it had received the letter, but it declined to comment to the outlet.

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