One Million Moms, an organization founded by the American Family Association, has issued a call to action for parents about a new cartoon picked up by the Hub kids network that features a 12-year-old boy who uses a magic ring from his dead aunt and the key phrase "You go girl!" to become a crime-fighter female superhero named SheZow.
Calling Hub's airing of "SheZow" an "attempt by the gay, lesbian and transgender community to indoctrinate our children into accepting their lifestyles," OneMillionMoms.com's call to action declares:
"The media is determined to pollute the minds of our children and there is no better way to desensitize them than through a cartoon program. Everyone knows children are drawn to animated shows; both boys and girls love superheroes. This character especially will appeal to both boys and girls since the superhero represents both genders by cross dressing and being transgendered."
The Australian-Canadian cartoon, marketed toward children between the ages of 2 and 11 years old, comes from the creative mind of Obie Scott Wade, who told Zap2it.com that the idea for the animated series was inspired by a cartoon from his youth, "Shazam!", and his general love for superheroes. Wade denies that the show pushes any particular agenda, other than to entertain kids.
"SheZow is not transgendered. He's a boy, his gender never changes, he's just trapped in a silly costume," Wade explained. He responded to claims that the cartoon is inappropriate for young viewers by adding, "I was a child when I thought of [the 'SheZow' idea]. I came up with that as a kid, so no, I don't [think it's inappropriate]."
Hub president and CEO Margaret Loesch told the Los Angeles Times that when she first heard about "SheZow" she was initially turned off.
"When I first heard about the show, my reaction was 'Are you out of your minds? Then I looked at it and I thought, 'This is just funny,'" said Loesch.
The Hub, launched in 2010 and co-owned by Discovery Communications and toy maker Hasbro, Inc., is hoping "SheZow" can bring the network top ratings and place it as a serious contender alongside networks like Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network — while One Million Moms and other protesters are hoping the show gets the axe.
"Hub network is being irresponsible and causing great damage to our culture," partially reads the text of the "Take Action" email One Million Moms suggests concerned parents send to Discovery and Hasbro. "I am appalled that Hub intends to air a show that portrays cross dressing in a positive light on a kid's channel. I strongly encourage Hub to drop all plans to air the program 'SheZow.'"
Claiming the program will confuse young viewers, the pro-family group suggests that impressionable children will want to imitate "SheZow's" main hero character, Guy Hamdon (voiced by Sam Vincent). "It won't be long before little boys are saying, 'I want to be a girl, so I can help people and save the world!'" the group suggests.
"As a trans woman, I see no harm in this show making some attempt at introducing the concept of non-binary presentation as just another thing that people can do, instead of lionizing it or demonizing it, either for shock value. If the only purpose it serves for an American audience is to get the conversation started from a place of acceptance, so American children can put a face to an idea, it's a good thing," wrote one adult viewer on the Facebook page for "SheZow."
One Million Moms' stated goal is "to stop the exploitation of our children, especially by the entertainment media" in television, music, movies and other areas and keep young consumers from exposure to "immorality, violence, vulgarity and profanity."
"SheZow" airs Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. ET on the Hub network, which states that it has a goal of "entertaining, enlightening, empowering and educating children and their families." "SheZow" is rated TV-Y7-FV due to the presence of fantasy violence. Watch a promotional clip of the video below.