Global Road Entertainment is removing two scenes from "Show Dogs" after protests from bloggers and other groups took issue with a subplot involving how a Rottweiler in the NYPD's K-9 unit, who while being inspected by judges at a dog show, becomes comfortable with strangers touching his genitals. The Rottweiler is told to go to his "zen place" during his inspection.
In a statement made to TheWrap, distributor Global Road Entertainment wrote, "Responding to concerns raised by moviegoers and some specific organizations, Global Road Entertainment has decided to remove two scenes from the film 'Show Dogs' that some have deemed not appropriate for children. The company takes these matters very seriously and remains committed to providing quality entertainment for the intended audiences based on the film's rating. We apologize to anybody who feels the original version of 'Show Dogs' sent an inappropriate message. The revised version of the film will be available for viewing nationwide starting this weekend."
The U.S. National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) spoke out against "Show Dogs," saying the family film sends "a troubling message that grooms children for sexual abuse."
"It contains multiple scenes where a dog character must have its private parts inspected, in the course of which the dog is uncomfortable and wants to stop but is told to go to a 'zen place.' The dog is rewarded with advancing to the final round of the dog show after passing this barrier," NCOSE executive director Dawn Hawkins said in a statement. "Disturbingly, these are similar tactics child abusers use when grooming children--telling them to pretend they are somewhere else, and that they will get a reward for withstanding their discomfort. Children's movies must be held to a higher standard, and must teach children bodily autonomy, the ability to say 'no' and safety, not confusing messages endorsing unwanted genital touching."
"Show Dogs" is a family comedy about the unlikely pairing of a human detective (Will Arnett) and his canine partner (voice of Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), who has to go undercover at the world's most exclusive dog show and recruit an all-star cast of animal helpers to solve his biggest case yet.
The new cut of "Show Dogs" will be available in theaters this weekend.
"Show Dogs" also stars Stanley Tucci, Natasha Lyonne and Alan Cumming. The film was directed by Raja Gosnell. It currently has an 21% Rotten Tomatoes score and opened in sixth place at last weekend's box office to the tune of $6 million.