Skip to content

Trigger Warnings? Hollywood Needs To Go Further Than Just the Muppets

  • by

The streaming service Disney Plus began providing episodes of The Muppet Show last week, and they are rightfully including a content warning at the beginning of each which states, “This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.” You’ve got that right. The Muppet Show is just another example of American intolerance and exploitation, and it’s about time that bigotry was acknowledged. Even though Disney Plus has yet to call out which specific “negative depictions” they are referring to, one doesn’t need look far for justification of their actions.


For years, we’ve been aware of the romantic nature of the relationship between the characters Bert and Ernie, yet the Muppets’ creators have demonstrated their blatant homophobia by refusing to even mention it; directly or indirectly. But there are several other examples of Muppets’ hate that is much more subtle. Consider, for instance, the way in which primary character Miss Piggy is portrayed – overbearing, vain, and confrontational – hurtful stereotypes of self-reliant women that have no place in our society. The vicious manner in which the show ridicules those suffering from eating disorders is wholly unacceptable; the Cookie Monster needs healing and compassion, not mockery. And the character Pepe the King Prawn is an insult to Hispanics, and clearly the product of vile xenophobia.


But if we are to indeed free ourselves from small-mindedness and alert parents and viewers to the dangers of seemingly innocent entertainment, The Muppet Show is undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other shows without even an inkling of wokeness that are readily available. It’s time those shows were held accountable as well.  


The most despicable example of un-woke TV shows continuing with their toxic drivel has to be Looney Tunes. The cartoon series has been poisoning minds since 1930, almost a full century, and continues unhindered with provider Boomerang offering its content to anyone who wants it. It’s truly remarkable that anyone would think such sludge is in any way amusing. The obvious and most appropriate remedy is to have Looney Tunes permanently cancelled, but at the very least it should be accompanied by urgent trigger warnings.

"*" indicates required fields

Are you voting in the midterm elections?*
This poll gives you free access to our premium politics newsletter. Unsubscribe at any time.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Some of the offensiveness of Looney Tunes is relatively restrained. With the character Foghorn Leghorn and his thick, southern drawl, for instance, his white supremacism is somewhat hidden yet undeniable. But most of Looney Tunes vulgarity is there in plain sight, unhidden for all to see. Character Slowpoke Rodriguez, the sidekick of Speedy Gonzalez, unfairly depicts Hispanics as unintelligent and lazy; racism at its very worst. Bugs Bunny, the most famous of all Looney Tunes characters, frequently transitions between a male and female rabbit which is unmistakably trans-phobic, and accordingly applies socially constructed sexual preferences. And people think this slop is funny?


With Looney Tunes, we also see constant, open derision of those inflicted with speech impediments as evidenced by the voices of characters such as Porky Pig, Daffy Duck and Sylvester the Cat. And the way in which character Wile E. Coyote is presented unashamedly celebrates animal cruelty and the denigration of the intellectually-challenged. Looney Tunes is reprehensible.


Another show worthy of content warnings and scorn is the long-syndicated Gilligan’s Island, which continues to be available on MEtv and elsewhere. Even though production of this show mercifully stopped over fifty years ago, for some reason people still feel compelled to watch it, in spite of its insensitivity.


The characters Gilligan and The Skipper plainly have their own Bert-&-Ernie dynamic happening, but the true nature of their affection is ignored, another example of anti-gay hostility. The sexual objectification of characters Mary Ann and Ginger is openly misogynistic. And the characters Mr. and Mrs. Thurston Howell III shamelessly embrace the excesses and evils of capitalism. Watching Gilligan’s Island could cause viewers to be traumatized or brainwashed into accepting socially rejected paradigms, yet episodes continue to be available as if nothing is wrong.


Unfortunately this moral crisis isn’t limited to just The Muppet Show, Looney Tunes, and Gilligan’s Island. Other depraved shows such as The Brady Bunch, Happy Days, and Tom & Jerry are just as morally bankrupt, yet continue to be shown without any advanced warnings of their depravity; enough is enough. If we are truly going move on from our awful, unwoke past, we must either discard such bastions of hate and discrimination, or at least alert the unsuspecting to their pitfalls. We’ve been making great progress ridding our culture of these evils, but we still have a long way to go.

Then again, maybe there’s a better solution. Maybe all we need to do is change the trigger warning on such shows to read as follows:

      “Some viewers may find this program offensive. If you are one of those viewers, please change the channel. Or perhaps you can grow a pair and put on your big boy/girl pants, stop your crying, and throw away your ridiculous participation trophies. Your being offended is not our problem. The world doesn’t owe you anything and life can be tough. Get over it, snowflake, and shut your pie hole.” 

Yup… that ought to do it.


PF Whalen


P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at  His work has appeared in multiple publications, including the Western Journal, Human Events, and American Thinker.  Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.


Image by kamian from Pixabay