It did not take long for filmmakers of the family movie "Show Dogs" to act on complaints coming from concerned parents who said that the movie groomed children for sexual abuse.
Global Road Entertainment announced on Tuesday that it would recut and edit out two controversial scenes in the children's movie in its revised release following a scolding from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE).
The NCOSE called for theaters to stop the movie's release due to a growing number of complaints from parents. Apparently, one scene featured a dog named Max (voiced by rapper Ludacris) whose genitals were inspected in a dog show, but it came off disturbingly on the screen.
"In the course of which the dog is uncomfortable and wants to stop but is told to go to a 'zen place,'" NCOSE executive director Dawn Hawkins wrote in the statement. "The dog is rewarded with advancing to the final round of the dog show after passing this barrier," she added.
Hawkins underscored that the scene showed similarities with behaviors of child abusers who reward their victims if they overcame their discomfort.
Mom blogger Terina Maldonado of the Macaroni Kid also criticized the movie for its presentation of an important topic like consent, especially after her young daughter said her favorite part in the movie was when the dog show judges touched Max's genitals and he had a funny reaction.
"We talked about bribes or threats, we discussed the fact that that type of behavior is not a game, we reminded them the same rules apply to kids as well as adults," Maldonado wrote.
Aside from the recut of the movie, the producers also issued an apology. In a statement, the producers said that the movie was made without hidden or ulterior motives but they respected the parents' reactions.
The NCOSE applauded "Show Dogs" producers for their quick action. The group also thanked the parents and other activists who brought attention to the film's message.