Five Republican Senators Want a Special Rating for Shows About LGBTQ+ Characters


Senators Mike Lee, Mike Braun, Roger Marshall, Steve Daines, and Kevin Cramer seek a special rating for LGBTQ+ shows.

Senators Mike Lee, Mike Braun, Roger Marshall, Steve Daines, and Kevin Cramer seek a special rating for LGBTQ+ shows.
Photo: Leigh Vogel (Getty Images), Zach Gibson (Getty Images), Anna Moneymarker (Getty Images), Pool (Getty Images), Alex Wong (Getty Images)

Five GOP senators are trying to create a new rating for television shows that feature LGBTQ+ characters and topics. The group outlined their reasoning in a letter to the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board. For a party so hellbent on complaining about cancel culture, the Grand Old Party seems to be really obsessed with cancel culture.

The letter, dated May 4, 2022 and addressed to TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board chairman Charles Rivkin, is signed by Republican senators Roger Marshall of Kansas, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, Steve Daines of Montana, and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.

“Thank you for empowering parents through the provision of tools that enable them to identify television (TV) content that is not suitable for certain ages,” the letter reads. “In recent years, concerning topics of a sexual nature have become aggressively politicized and promoted in children’s programming, including irreversible and harmful experimental treatments for mental disorders like gender dysphoria.”

The senators refer to Disney several times throughout the letter, and specifically cite a New York Post article about a recent executive at Disney who stated that they support having more LGBTQ+ inclusion in their company’s stories. That executive was Karey Burke—who in a video posted on Twitter, championed the increased representation of LGBTQ+ lead characters in future company projects.

In the letter, the senators also refer to a blog post published on American Thinker in April 2022 from an alleged former Disney Channel writer under the pseudonym “Stella Paul,” who claims that TV writers are aware of children “modeling behavior” from television shows, and argues that Disney’s recent commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity is an encouragement for children to “imitate that behavior.” It’s worth reiterating that Stella Paul is a pen name, and while they claim to have since left their position at the Disney Channel, they do not specify which shows they worked on, nor offer any proof that they ever worked at the company. We should also note that the senators are attributing an online magazine that’s been known to post unsupported stories on its site.

“The [TV Parental Guide Monitoring] Board is obligated to ensure the rating criteria helps parents be informed about mature content before it is displayed to their children,” the senators wrote. “In light of parents raising legitimate concerns on sexual orientation and gender identity content on children’s TV shows, we expect the Board to fulfill its responsibility in updating the TV Parental Guidelines to reflect these concerns.”

In spite of all of this, the letter is merely another battle cry from the Republican Party, who have been on the frontlines of their own war against Disney surrounding the company’s comments on sexuality recently. Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis successfully nuked Walt Disney World’s special self-governing privileges in the wake of Disney pushing back against the Governor’s highly controversial ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.


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