Sunday, October 12, 2008

Halloween Horror Nights... A Fun Thing Gone Bad.

As a college student, I attended Halloween Horror Nights. A group of girlfriends and I actually went in 2003. We were going to the annual FCTE (Florida Council for Teachers of English) conference that was held in Orlando that year. We all stayed at the conference hotel, sharing a room to make it cheaper, had awesome meals out, attended awesome workshops during the day, and one night we skipped the night-time festivities to go to Halloween Horror Nights. (One can only hob-knob with a group of frumpy coffee-sipping, vera-carrying teachers for so long! ... if only we knew that's what we would soon become... lol)...

Anyway, Halloween Horror nights was cool. Back then.

Now that I'm a mom, it's AWFUL. The commercial alone is appalling. And if it's appalling to me, I can only imagine how others feel, because I consider myself a pretty laid-back mom. I'm not too uptight with what Camden watches as long as it's not violent or sexual. At two years old, his favorite movies include The Sandlot, Toy Story and Shrek. I also don't oppose Halloween. It's actually a lot of fun and our family enjoys the festivities. This is not a religious complaint by any means. I support Halloween Horror Nights and Universal Studios and their rights to cater to adult entertainment needs. However, I do have a problem with their ability to bring terrifying images into my home via FAMILY programming.

This commercial plays at all hours of the day on all channels that we watch including ABC Family, which is one of our favorite channels to watch since it offers re-runs of Gilmore Girls and other fun shows. Now, realize, Camden is not watching these shows, but he is in the room when they are on at 4pm and 5pm and 6pm... you know, the normal hours when a FAMILY would be together! We tried just watching other channels and found that this commercial is EVERYWHERE. This is NOT something that I EVER want my son to see. We already have trouble getting him to bed, do you think this would help? No. AND, the commerical scares the shit out of me, so I can only imagine how it must feel to a two year old.

Note: There are two versions of the commercial, one where she is painting her lips with blood and the other where she does not. Of course, the one shown in our area has to be the most bloody one!

So, I wrote ABC Family with my complaint of their distasteful advertising choices. I then proceeded to write Universal Studios and a quick search brought up all sorts of things. Moms in the Orlando Area have boycotted the awful and distasteful billboards. One mom wrote that her daughter was terrified by the billboards and is now drawing pictures of "Bloody Mary" in school. Further searching just made me mad because people were awfully insensitive toward parents and children. People made comments such as "moms need to get a life", and "don't drive that way anymore", etc. Really? There are 80 billboards in the Orlando area. Moms should be able to take their children wherever they need to go without having to avoid billboards. The comments about the article were pretty much almost as appalling as the billboards themselves.

If you live in the area, and would like to petition the billboards, go here.

Part of the petition is so true, it states "As an adult, I can look at this image and realize that it is not real and "just for fun" yet, how do I explain this to my three year old son? Our young children should not be exposed to these images." <-- AMEN-SISTA! So, I'm signing the billboard petition, and I'd like to find one about these AWFUL COMMERCIALS, but I haven't found one. So, Joe and I continue to distract Camden when we are watching a show and the commercial comes on. Or we turn the channel quickly. And we've stopped watching certain channels altogether because of the frequency of the ad. It's just not worth it.

Violence does not belong in our house.


Kacy said...

I signed :) Those images freak ME OUT TOO!!

Mrs. Pivec said...

We don't live in Orlando, but the commercials are playing a ton down here too. I think they're horrid and I, too, am shocked that they would play them as early as they do. Years ago you'd never see something like that on television.

Sheena said...

I've had this same thought. The Halloween Horror Night commercials are very scary every single year. I've always thought that they were too much for daytime and family television. I personally don't find the blood lipstick scary but when she jumps through the mirror and screams it makes me jump. The screaming makes the girls turn and look too.

Anonymous said...

As Mark Twain once said, "Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it."