My nephew, 9 years old, was watching one of the early games of the World Cup when he came into the kitchen and asked his mother, “Can we go see The Purge?”
“Is that a kids movie?” she asked. No he said. It’s rated R.
Then he said, “What does “purge” mean?”
Later he admitted that even the commercial he had seen, with his 7-year-old brother, was too scary to watch, let alone the movie.
Have you seen these ads? Watch the trailer, embedded above. That will give you a pretty good idea of what the ad I saw was like. The movie is about some future time when there is an annual purge in the U.S. during which, for 12 hours, murder will be legal and public services, like police an EMTs, will not be available. Fine, if you like that kind of thing, go see it.
But the ads are airing during the World Cup when probably millions of young children are watching. My own 15-year-old son said that he and his brother – who is 18 YEARS OLD – turned the channel from ESPN when the ad came on because it was so disturbing.
There are so few opportunities for shared national cultural and media events today that adults and kids from across all demographics can enjoy and talk about together, and here is one of those few, marred. How many parents thought that a soccer game would be a safe bet for their kids?
Who is complicit?
ESPN is owned by Disney. (Think Disney cares about your kids?)
The Purge is produced by Universal Pictures, which is owned by NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast.