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Can You Do That on Television?

I was sitting on the couch Sunday afternoon watching the FOX NFL pre-game show with my kids when something upsetting happened.

An advertisement came on the television.

It wasn’t for lube or condoms or erectile dysfunction medication. It wasn’t a commercial that tried to convince you that if you drank light beer and watched football games you could have a three way with blonde twins. It wasn’t even one of those awful political hate ads. It was worse. It was an ad for a movie.

More specifically, it was a trailer for a new movie. This particular movie is called “Sinister”.

The trailer started with the voiceover of a news reporter talking about the “grisly murder of a family”. Then they show a new family moving into a house. The kids don’t want to move but the Dad explains that they can’t afford the old house.

My children were suddenly riveted.

The Dad is writing a book! In the next scene the Dad goes into the attic and he sees a box. The box has an old movie projector. It looks like the murders might have been serial murders. Creepy! But wait, there is more! Turns out that the problem is the demon that takes children’s souls!

I grab the remote, but not before we see that box in the attic again. A CHILD COMES OUT OF THE BOX. He looks like he is in pain. I change the chanel, but it is too late.

I look at the clock. It is 11:47 in the afternoon. Eastern Standard Time.

WHAT THE HELL FOX? That ad scared me and I am 39 years old. The movie looks awesome if you like scary movies, but didn’t there used to be some sort of television rule about what kind of content could be on television before 9:00 PM or during family programming?

I have no beef with this film. Scary movies are great. I can’t watch them anymore because I have become paranoid in my early middle aged years. “The Ring” wrecked me. But still, I think horror films are fine for what they are and if I were still in the market to have the crap scared out of me I would definitely go see “Sinister.”

I am a proponent of free speech. My children are not prudes. They know where babies come from. They know that people and animals die. They know several bad words. They have seen all six Star Wars films, and thanks to FOX they were sleeping with me and my husband on a pullout couch on Sunday night because THEY WEREN’T QUITE READY TO HEAR ABOUT THE DEMON SOUL STEALER FROM THE CREATORS OF “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY”.

I don’t understand why it is okay to show these movie trailer without warnings.

I do not comprehend a culture that thinks breastfeeding is offensive but the word “shit” is offensive. People in beer commercials can’t actually drink the beer they are advertising, but demons who consume children’s souls are totally fine.

I won’t watch “Sons of Anarchy” until the kids are asleep because it s too violent. I love that show, but it isn’t appropriate for eight year olds. I thought the football pre-game show was safe for kids and you can ask my neighbors, I have pretty liberal ideas about what is and what isn’t okay for kids.

I give up. Maybe my family values aren’t the same as yours after all, America. I believe trailers for horror films cross the line.

Am I being overly sensitive? Should I not be letting my eight year olds watch televised sporting events or is this something other parents struggle with?

* * *

Read more from me on Sarah and the Goon Squad and Draft Day Suit
Follow me on Twitter for updates.

More of me on That’s Right. You Heard Me:


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Another Tricky Thing About Parenting

 

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