Everything old is new again … like warning labels on pop culture fare.
In the late 1980s the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) waged war against mature music, demanding labels on songs by Twisted Sister, Prince, Madonna and more.
A curious trio of singers – Frank Zappa, John Denver and Dee Snider – decamped to Capitol Hill to defend music from Tipper Gore, the PMRC’s front person.
In recent years, the woke revolution inspired outlets to bring back warning labels to protect us from the past. HBO Max slapped such a label on “Gone With the Wind.” Disney+ did something similar for older animated films like “Peter Pan” and “Dumbo.”
Now, even smoking characters spark parental guidance notes.
Paramount+ may have ushered in a new chapter in the trigger warning front. The streaming platform added “fresh” content to its lineup Feb. 10, including episodes of MTV’s “Jackass.”
The MTV series followed a rowdy band of pranksters, notably Johnny Knoxville, as they performed outrageous stunts and button-pushing shtick.
Think extreme-extreme sports.
The “Jackass” franchise is one that screams for a warning label, and even First Amendment purists may see the logic behind them. The participants endure extreme pain and perform stunts that could hurt, or kill, amateurs attempting them at home.
Yet that isn’t the focus of the latest warning label campaign, though.
Film critic Mike McGranaghan shared a still taken from Paramount+ seconds before the start of a “Jackass” rerun.
Paramount + added old episodes of JACKASS, which are now preceded by this: pic.twitter.com/JiEZO13EmL
— Mike McGranaghan (@AisleSeat) February 13, 2022
“Outdated social norms?”
The show (and films) could be slammed as toxic masculinity run wild, perhaps. Or, it’s a white patriarchy moment since most of the performers are Caucasian.
What else could get this warning label? How about almost everything from the pop culture past? Social norms change over time. It’s natural. What’s acceptable today will be considered dated in a decade … or less. It might even be dubbed “problematic,” assuming Cancel Culture continues on its current trajectory.
Even the act of bringing a girl flowers could be considered inappropriate in select circles now.
So who decides what social norms are still acceptable? Paramount+? Other content platforms? And what happens next?
Are warning labels enough, or will someone push to have labeled content removed?