LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Hollywood film distributor is pulling the family film “Show Dogs” from theaters after some parents complained about scenes involving the inspection of a dog’s private parts.
The PG film centers on a talking police dog named Max (voiced by Ludacris) and his human partner, Frank (played by Will Arnett) who work to infiltrate a popular dog show in order to rescue a baby panda who has been kidnapped.
At one point in the movie, Frank touches Max’s genitals in order to get him accustomed to the longtime dog show tradition. When Max objects, he’s told to go to his “zen place” in order to make the experience more palatable.
When the day of the competition arrives and the time comes for the judge to inspect the dog’s private parts, the movie depicts Max imagining himself in the “zen place” as his parts are inspected. Once the inspection is complete, Max advances to the final round.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) issued a statement calling on Global Road Entertainment, the movie’s distributor, to halt distribution of the movie, saying, “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.”
On Wednesday night, the producers of “Show Dogs” released the following statement to NCSE: “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 company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film’s rating,” the statement read, adding, “We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of ‘Show Dogs’ sent an inappropriate message.”
“Do you see what’s happening here? Max’s success is riding on whether or not he lets both his partner (for practice) and a stranger (the competition judge) touch his private parts,” wrote For Every Mom’s Jenny Rapson.
“With the #MeToo movement and all the talk of sexual predators in Hollywood, I couldn’t help but think this message, that is blatantly in the open for adults to see, but over a child’s understanding, is meant to groom children to be open to having people touch their privates, even though they don’t want it,” Macaroni Kid’s Terina Maldonado said.
It wasn’t clear when the film would be re-released following the re-editing process.