The Patriot Post® · Shh, Nick, Don't Woke the Baby

By Tony Perkins ·

What is the fastest way to alienate a sizable fanbase and scuttle the reputation of a longstanding entertainment icon? Saturate it with obnoxious, woke, political messaging. The latest program to adopt this strategy is Nickelodeon, who, after watching Disney send Star Wars into a tailspin, said “hold my Kool-aid.” After Nickelodeon promoted LGBT Pride Month for the first time in 2020, they decided to up the ante, as if everyone knows children’s programs need more sexual content. Unsaintly Nick has introduced LGBT characters to shows including Blue’s Clues & You!, Spongebob Squarepants, Rugrats, The Adventures of Korra, Henry Danger, Rocko’s, and The Loud House.

Meanwhile, Nickelodeon has lost two-thirds of its viewers over the past four years. As Breitbart reporter John Nolte summarized, “In July of 2017, Nickelodeon was averaging around 1.2 million viewers per week. Since February of this year, the channel has not been able to push its average viewership over 400,000. Last month, the numbers crashed as low as just 328,000.” Nowhere along this catastrophic slide did the writers or curators of Nickelodeon’s content stop to consider whether their ratings train wreck had anything to do with their foisting LGBT ideals on impressionable young viewers.

But the story gets more absurd. Last month, Nickelodeon chose not to air an episode titled “Kwarantined Krab,” which featured an outbreak of “Clam Flu,” because of the controversial and sensitive nature of the topic. That fact alone doesn’t matter much one way or the other. What’s shocking, however, is that Nickelodeon is willing to self-censor an episode with sideways allusions to the COVID-19 pandemic as too controversial and sensitive to broadcast to children, but it has no problem promoting Pride Month, writing songs about Pride Month, introducing an entire rainbow of LGBT characters, or exposing children to drag queens. As kids’ cartoons are no longer child-safe, it’s no wonder that parents are changing the channel.

Admittedly, some of Nickelodeon’s drop in viewership is simply a result of viewers switching away from cable, which has afflicted all kids’ networks. But you would expect, when a company encounters hard times, they would try their hardest to keep every customer they can. Instead, Nickelodeon has gone out of its way to alienate their primary market. Promoting LGBT Pride is one thing. Promoting it explicitly to young children is a bridge too far for many parents.

As LGBT activists target their agenda to increasingly younger audiences, parents have grown increasingly concerned about the effect they can have on their children. Pandemic lockdowns accelerated this by helping families spend more time together, alerting parents to the LGBT indoctrination taking place in schools. Parents concerned about their children are now organizing to fight back, running for school board, and speaking out. Earlier this year, the Arkansas legislature passed the SAFE Act, a first-of-its-kind law to protect children from dangerous, life-altering transgender hormones and surgeries. Most parents would rather raise their children peaceably than wade into the messy conflict of politics. But when continued and systematic attempts to indoctrinate their children provoke them to action, they become unstoppable warriors.

The Left can’t resist overplaying their hand, or buckling to the backlash. This year, we’ve already been witness to Leftist threats that have backfired. Corporations took a major black eye from criticizing Georgia’s new election law before they realized it actually expanded voting access, while making elections more secure. The NCAA took a pie to the face when it backed away from its threat to remove tournaments from states that protected women’s sports — because too many states ignored it. Now, parents are punishing Nickelodeon’s woke programming by changing the channel.

Originally published here.

House Members Take a Stand for Conservative Values

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) are to be commended for successfully blocking two dangerous yet largely overlooked bills on the floor of the House of Representatives. The LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act (H.R. 1443) and the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act (H.R. 239) would have both pushed harmful ideologies through what should have been a routine procedural mechanism for the House to pass uncontroversial bills. While these two destructive bills were blocked Tuesday night, by votes of 249-177 and 240-188, an alarming number of Republicans (31 and 22) voted for each.

The LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act would have redefined the term “sex” and included the term “transgender” in the definition of LGBT-owned businesses. The Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act would have increased insurance coverage to 100 percent for all FDA-approved forms of contraception for veterans. This includes “emergency contraceptives” like Plan B and Ella, which act as abortifacients by preventing implantation or ending the life of an embryo before implantation. American taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortifacient drugs, but that is exactly what H.R. 239 mandates.

Thankfully, some Republicans — like Reps. Boebert and Rosendale — refuse to waver on social issues. Boebert stood up against the LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act by asking for a recorded vote so she could know which Republicans are sticking with their principles. Especially during “Pride Month,” many Republicans are tempted to think that appeasing the LGBT movement will help attract younger voters to the party. Yet, Boebert understands that no one will be attracted to politicians who abandon their principles in the face of opposition, and they should not be. Though Boebert was cut off when she stood up to oppose H.R. 1443, her bold actions will be remembered by the many conservatives across America who want to see their leaders take a courageous stand.

Rep. Rosendale, meanwhile, helped lead the charge against the Equal Access to Contraception for Veterans Act. Like Boebert, Rosendale asked for a recorded vote on the bill, challenging his fellow members of the GOP to consider where they truly stand on social issues.

Rosendale has repeatedly shown his loyalty to the pro-life cause, and recently got over 130 Republicans to sign his letter to Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Denis McDonough asking him to provide assurances that the VA will not change its rules and try to provide abortion or abortion-related services under the new administration.

“The Republican conference embraces, supports, and defends life,” Rosendale said of the broad support for his letter among Republicans. “The Democratic Party is the party of death.”

We are grateful for elected leaders like Boebert and Rosendale who refuse to conform to the Left’s increasingly radical social agenda. Some Republicans may falter, but with courageous leaders like Boebert and Rosendale who are willing to stand up for what they believe in, the GOP will remain the party of social conservatives.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.