Nothing Says Family Friendly Fun Like a Prostitute and Her Rainbow of Condoms

If you are looking for a good movie to watch with the kids this weekend, try one of my favorites. It’s about a young girl who falls into prostitution after finding herself alone in a new city. By selling her body to the night, she and her drug addict roommate are just barely able to make ends meet. But things are looking up when she takes on a new client; all she has to do is pretend to be his girlfriend and occasionally bathe him and have sex with him in hotel dining rooms! They strike up a bond and in the final moments of the movie she discovers if he can stop treating her like a hooker and finally accept her for who she is.

Sounds good, right? The best part is, you don’t have to Netflix or Redbox it. It is probably playing on ABC Family this very moment! Right up there with Harry Potter and Toy Story is another beloved children’s classic: Pretty Woman. A movie about the luckiest prostitute in the world. And don’t forget Dirty Dancing, another ABC Family Classic, which takes place at what is essentially summer camp for adults. If summer camp is a place where your dance instructor will sleep with you for a wad of cash and where traveling doctors give botched abortions. Don’t get me wrong, I think these are fine movies…just not for an eight-year-old.

With a name like ABC Family, I had always assumed this channel was directed toward children and families. If I were a parent and asked my kid, “Hey, what are you watching down there?” and she answered “ABC Family!” I’d think, Oh okay, with a name like that it’s gotta be wholesome, never suspecting that my child was watching Julia Roberts give Richard Gere a blow job. Even if the network edits out that part, or the part where Jason Alexander forces himself on her, the movie is still always going to be about a prostitute. Which in itself is mature content. Until children’s books and Disney movies feature a strong female lead that is a hooker, I am not going to buy that this is a children’s movie.

Out of curiosity, I went to the ABC Family website to learn more about their mission and read that they “air movies that we think fit our audience’s tastes: all kinds of comedies, plus love stories, fantasies, select classics, and more.” Who is your audience that Richie Rich and Pretty Woman are on par with each other? I guess the answer is in their tagline: A New Kind of Family. The kind that wants their kids to learn about the fairytale of prostitution early on.

55 thoughts on “Nothing Says Family Friendly Fun Like a Prostitute and Her Rainbow of Condoms

  1. While I am a huge PLL fan, ABC Family definitely has a screw loose when it comes to defining family friendly television. Most of their programming is not suitable for my kids.

  2. I’ve been perusing your recent blog posts and can’t stop laughing… I love your style! Most importantly, I love your opinion on this. My 8 year old daughter saw Pretty Women while we were at a friend’s home that didn’t think it was inappropriate to have on with my little one in the room (maybe I need new friends?..) and trying to answer the questions that followed was painful. “Why did she get to stay in that fancy hotel room Mom?” “How come he bought her all those nice clothes Mom?” ……. if my child turns out to be a prostitute when she grows up, I blame Pretty Women.

    • Thanks! That is what I was thinking — when a kid watches this movie, there will be a lot of questions that will be hard to answer….and I know I wouldn’t feel like explaining prostitution that early haha. You can definitely blame that movie – and your friend – if she turns out to be a prostitute!

  3. ABC Family is such a confusing channel to me. Right up there with TLC. How is “Pretty Little Liars” a family show? And what, exactly, is Honey Boo Boo supposed to be teaching me on The Learning Channel?

  4. Pingback: yeah write #118 weekly writing challenge winners: jury prize, editor picks, crowd favorite and top row five |yeah write

  5. Yeah, that’s some pretty confusing branding lol. I agree that the name really gives the impression of very light stuff!


  6. I love that Carnival Cruise Lines used to use Iggy Popp’s Lust for Life as their background music.

    Here comes Johnny Yen again
    With his liquor and drugs
    And his flesh machine
    He’s going to do another strip tease

    I’m tired of sleeping on the sidewalk
    No more beating my brains
    With liquor and drugs

    All this while families frolic on the happiest cruise line around! I was sad when they changed it. Someone in corporate must have finally Googled the lyrics.

  7. Yeah, most of what I see on the lineup of ABC Family is not anything I’d let my family watch. Even “Pretty Little Liars” doesn’t set well with me because we’re supposed to, um, be teaching our kids not to lie, right?? Great post.

    • Haha I agree! All of their shows are targeted at teenagers. When I was a kid I wasn’t even allowed to watch Saved by the Bell. My dad would say, “You aren’t in high school, so why do you need to watch a show about teenagers in high school?”

  8. People have become so numb to what they are watching. I mentioned the Pretty Woman on ABC Family conundrum to my mother who was watching it mid-day and she didn’t see a problem with it….I reminded her of the blow job scene and the fact that Julia is a prostitute on a family network that children watch and she said something to the effect of ” You don’t use words like blow job to your mother.” OMG she so didn’t appreciate it when I said ” …But we can watch one together?”

    • Hahahahaha. The irony of that is just too much. One adult dare not say BJ to another, but let’s definitely have our kids watch it. That kind of reminds me of this Comcast commercial where a young girl, her father, and her grandmother are watching Family Guy together and laughing. Has Comcast ever seen Family Guy? That is not a show you watch with your mother and your daughter without covering your face in shame and discomfort.

  9. Wait, you mean that’s NOT the ideal we should be teaching our young kids? I’ve been subjecting my boys to a steady stream of these “family” flicks so that they could be prepared for the world once they become rich heartless billionaires that treat woman like disposable diapers, so that one day they can finally find a whore to call their very own. But NOW you tell me that it’s not appropriate? Damn. Ok, hold on, I’ll be right back . . . I need to go change the channel.

  10. Best line of the week: “If I were a parent and asked my kid, “Hey, what are you watching down there?” and she answered “ABC Family!” I’d think, Oh okay, with a name like that it’s gotta be wholesome, never suspecting that my child was watching Julia Roberts give Richard Gere a blow job.”

    Great post that echoes my own feelings towards ABC Family. Well done.

  11. Yeah, ABC Family is indeed questionable seeing as they have shows like “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and “Baby Daddy”.

Leave a Reply to The Cutter Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s