Following complaints from parents, moviegoers and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, the children’s film “Show Dogs” will be re-edited to remove two scenes that were deemed inappropriate for children.
As previously reported, the PG-rated film quickly came under fire after its release on May 18 for depicting what many concerned parents call “grooming” a practice used by sexual predators to normalize inappropriate physical contact.
The film, stars Will Arnett and Ludacris as a police dog team that infiltrates the show dog circuit. This includes one of the dogs, Max, having to learn the behavior of the “inspection” of his genitals by the judges, a relatively common practice in dog shows. Many were quick to note that Max being told to go to his “zen place” in order to get through a physical ordeal he’s uncomfortable with sent the wrong message for a movie geared at entertaining a young audience.
“Responding to concerns raised by moviegoers and some specific organizations, Global Road Entertainment has decided to remove two scenes from the film ‘Show Dogs’ that some have deemed not appropriate for children,” the studio said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film’s rating. We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of ‘Show Dogs’ sent an inappropriate message. The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend.”
The decision comes after a lengthy statement from the U.S. National Center on Sexual exploitation executive Dawn Hawkins about the film’s two-scenes.
“It contains 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.’ The dog is rewarded with advancing to the final round of the dog show after passing this barrier,” the statement read. "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."
Parents hoping to bring their children to see “Show Dogs” should be able to do so without fear of the inappropriate scenes being in the cut as early as this weekend