Variety film critic says the quiet part out loud: Hollywood promotes sexualization of children

February 23, 2022

By Ella Carroll-Smith

Disney Pixar’s upcoming children’s film ”Turning Red“—an animated movie about a 13-year-old girl who turns into a giant red panda when she gets excited—is already causing a stir. Courtney Howard, a film critic for Variety, took to Twitter to sing the film’s praises, calling it “hilarious, heartfelt & unapologetically horny.” 

Howard quickly received a harsh public backlash for her choice of words, so much so that she deleted the tweet and set her Twitter account to private. However, she is not the only critic to highlight the fact that “Turning Red” is essentially a movie about a teen girl’s puberty and sexual awakening. 

Pixar is a studio that specifically creates movies for young children. Why is it putting out children’s movies that are “unapologetically horny” or sexual in nature at all? It might be different if this film was directed towards a more mature audience, but it’s not. It’s an animated movie that’s rated PG, which means that it’s considered suitable for young audiences. 

Hollywood, a town that’s no stranger to allegations of pedophilia and sexual harassment, has recently released a number of films and shows that not only promote the sexualization of children, but they also celebrate it. “Turning Red” is only the most recent example, but it’s preceded by titles such as “Call Me By Your Name,” a film about an older man’s relationship with a 17-year-old, and “Cuties,” which portrays young girls in a blatantly sexual way. 

Some critics even went so far as to dub Netflix’s Cuties, whose youngest actress is 12 years old, as “blatant pedophilia.” HBO’s new hit show, Euphoria, which is supposed to depict high schoolers, has also been taking flak recently for gratuitous scenes containing teen nudity, drugs, and sex. 

Considering the fact that networks and studios are so comfortable depicting child sexualization in their more mature content, is it really any surprise that it’s begun to seep into children’s programming? After all, those on the left already celebrate pushing progressive gender ideologies on children via cartoons. 

The creator of the cartoon “Steven Universe ”(rated PG) recently told Entertainment Weekly that her “goal with the show was to really tear down and play with the semiotics of gender in cartoons for children.”

Although Variety’s Courtney Howard was brazen in her choice of words to describe “Turning Red,” she wasn’t wrong. Her biggest mistake was that she said the quiet part out loud. 


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