January 27, 2005


SpongeBob's Family Video: What Would Bob the Tomato Do?: VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer discusses teaching children morals through television and the widening values gap between makers and viewers. (Christianity Today, 01/26/2005)

Do you think that some kids' shows do have an agenda to address sexual identity issues?

Kids' shows themselves very seldom have agendas beyond the crassly commercial. Individual writers, however, sometimes do. Writers may slip something into a script for their own amusement or socio-political gratification that the producers of the show will never notice. We evangelicals will pick up on those subtle intrusions and assume they are systemic.

Looking at the world of kids' television today, I can't think of any shows with an overt sexual identity agenda. I do think that will change over the next 5-10 years, though. Since the early 1970s, promoting diversity has been considered vitally important in children's television, especially in the New York-Washington D.C. school of children's programming exemplified by Sesame Street. Nickelodeon has made it a major focus as well.

But for the last 30 years, diversity has meant gender and race. As a result, liberals and conservatives could agree on their children's programming. Sesame Street, a product of the "Blue States," worked just fine in the "Red States" as well. Over the next 5-10 years I think this will change. Sesame Workshop (the foundation behind Sesame Street) and Nickelodeon will come under increasing pressure from their Blue buddies to positively portray sexual diversity alongside racial and gender diversity. The day a same-sex couple moves onto Sesame Street will mark the day the Red States and the Blue States (or more accurately, the Red Counties and the Blue Counties) will no longer watch the same children's shows. How far away is that day? Maybe two years. Maybe ten years. But it will happen.

In which case it's nice to control the FCC.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 27, 2005 7:40 AM

As the vanguard seizes control of the media and wields its power to transform society, it will find the sexual identity is much less malleable than they had hoped. While Heather may have two mommies, the vast, vast preponderant majority of human children have rather clear conceptions of gender identity, having experienced families built around one man and one woman.

Consider what has become of the word, "gay." The word opnce meant something like, "happy," as we all felt when Johnny came marching home. Then the word was attempted to have been appropriated to mean "homosexual," but straightaway came to mean, "sick, twisted or innappropriate."

I really doubt that this sort of thing would have much of an effect--it's just too gay.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 27, 2005 9:53 AM

Outside of a very few warped people in San Francisco, Hollywood or the Upper West Side, this crap doesn't sell anywhere. The real solution is to get the government out of the broadcasting business entirely and allow the free market to determine what kiddie shows will be watched.

Posted by: Bart at January 27, 2005 10:45 AM