Sen. Mike Lee asks for new TV ratings that have LGBTQ content in children shows
May 10, 2022, 12:20 PM | Updated: Jul 17, 2023, 8:47 pm
SALT LAKE CITY — Sen. Mike Lee and four other Republican senators want to update TV ratings for children’s shows with LGBTQ content.
The senators sent a letter to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board asking for all shows with LGBTQ content to be placed above the TV-Y7 category, which are shows approved for audiences above seven years old.
They believe that sexual topics are now politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including “irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria.”
The letter accuses “hyper-sexualized” TV producers of pushing this content, calling it predatory behavior. They worry about the child actors in shows with this content.
They also criticize Disney for including LGBTQ characters and gender dysphoria stories as its harms children “but also destabilizes and damages parental rights.”
This comes after Disney denounces Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which the letter mentions as concerning.
In response to the letter, state Sen. Derek Kitchen, D-Salt Lake City, who identifies as gay, said he is fed up with rhetoric toward the LGBTQ community.
“The LGBTQ+ community is not a political punching bag — we are people, and we are sick and tired of these offensive antics,” Kitchen said. “As the only open LGBTQ+ member of the Utah Legislature, does Sen. Mike Lee want to put a warning label on my Senate floor debates? Does the senator want to put a warning label in front of my restaurant or my campaign office?”
Kitchen calls Lee’s focus on this a culture war and is “unhelpful, divisive, and an abuse of power.”
The five senators want a response from the board by May 18 and an in-person meeting.