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Jennifer Siebel Newsom's picture

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Making Miss Representation has changed my life in more ways than one. Not only has the documentary transformed the way I consume media but it’s also influenced my parenting decisions when it comes to household media consumption.  If I want to challenge the way the media represents women and girls – and I want all girls growing up believing in their potential  – then I have to be extra vigilant about the media my family consumes. Change starts with me.

While I am not thrilled with television options for two and a half year olds, let alone the thought of my kids being in front of the TV at all, I do appreciate Comcast’s OnDemand service because it allows me to find kids programming (when necessary) without having to wade through all the sexist commercials typical of live TV.

Yet it’s precisely because I use the service that I am especially upset over the kind of advertising Comcast pushes in its OnDemand preview box in the upper right hand corner. While I search for the latest episode of Caillou and Dora the Explorer with both kids in viewing proximity, I’ve been subject to trailers of horror films and sexually explicit material.

I believe Comcast has a responsibility to air content which is appropriate for all genders and age groups here. This isn’t a radical concept – there are already media filters in place on most television networks – and Comcast itself offers parental controls for cable channels. You don’t see extremely violent or hyper-sexual content during cartoons on a children’s network, right?  Well, people of all ages and interests use the OnDemand section, and it should be a safe place to find the shows I want for my young kids.

It takes action on behalf of a few big media companies to transform an entire industry when it comes to representations of gender and sexuality. This is a fantastic opportunity for Comcast to demonstrate leadership and make a difference for parents and children across the country.

Let’s just hope they're tuned in.

Sign the petition, started by concerned mother Laura Alexander, asking Comcast to change their OnDemand advertising.


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