Should shows come with a trigger warning?

Recently, a Netflix Original Movie, The Luckiest Girl Alive, has been making headlines. Critics and viewers are saying that the R rating isn’t enough and that the show should have a trigger warning.

Many shows do come with trigger warnings, and more of them probably should. At the bare minimum, most movies and TV shows come with an MPAA rating. MPAA stands for “Motion Picture Association of America.” Their rating system is meant to give viewers a heads-up for what’s to come. A little red flag. A really vague trigger warning, if you will. 

One common trigger warning is “Contains Sexual Assault and Violence.” But even that description is elusive. Is it referring to dialogue, a single scene, or are there multiple graphic scenes? That trigger warning can mean something different entirely from film to film. Again, viewers are being asked to put their trust in what’s “crossing the line” in the hands of a complete stranger. That’s quite the gamble.

The creators of The Luckiest Girl Alive set out to cover important issues, hoping to raise awareness and entice emotion from viewers. In a recent post, one of VidAngel’s customers said this about sexual abuse scenes, “Directors, writers, creators, and actors sing this song of shedding awareness or bringing light to the heartbreaking struggles that so many worldwide go through…If raising awareness is your goal, somebody already beat you to it.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise there’s a chance scenes dramatizing real-life events are difficult for survivors with PTSD to watch. We are here for and applaud creators that want to cover important issues. That’s honorable. We are also here to support viewers that struggle with PTSD. Stirring up emotion from viewers is a beautiful thing, but being the source of another panic attack is not. 

With VidAngel, you don’t have to be worried about a scene triggering you. Watch movies like The Luckiest Girl Alive without the graphic and violent scenes; get to the part that’s full of hope, healing, and vindication without the scenes that dramatize traumatic experiences. 

Because of your background or what matters to you, any one thing could send you spiraling. Does that make you spineless? Oversensitive? A snowflake? No. 

We know real life doesn’t come with a trigger warning. We know that real life doesn’t have a filter option. But we also know that you deserve a break from it. 

Topics: FAQ
  1. Thank you so much for everything that you all do! We are a conservative Christian family that doesn’t take lightly the impact that what our 4 kids watch, has on who they are becoming. Because of that we have lived on old black and whites….and cheesy Hallmark’s that aren’t even clean anymore. VidAngel has opened up a WORLD of movies to us that never would have been allowed in our home. We can watch quality shows without letting filth in, and feeling convicted that we’ve aligned our home with the wrong spirit. So thank you to you all! Having a few blips here and there, and maybe even a little bit of confusion over what you just missed is the tiniest price ever to pay for feeling clean after you’ve watched something that in it’s original form would have you knowing that you had sold out. 🙂 I don’t know if you take requests… lol…but we’d LOVE to see filters for the newer Ocean’s 11 movies…and also for the series White Collar. Both our ones we keep checking in to see if you’ve added. Our kids would love both, but there’s just a little too much junk in them. Thanks again!

    1. Thank you so much for your support! We are so grateful. It looks like ” Ocean’s 11″ and “White Collar” are owned by the Hollywood Studios, that won’t allow VidAngel to be used with their titles.

      Please send us any other title requests you may have! We are more than happy to look into them for you to see if we can filter them!

      Thank you again for your support, and happy filtering!

  2. Does your service only cover streaming TV? What about movies that you rent or buy through a streaming service, such as Roku? I recently watched The Big Chill which is 40 years old and has language and some other things that I know were not in the original movie 40 years ago because those words words weren’t spoken that long ago. I tried to buy the DVD on Amazon and the seller felt that his version was fairly clean, but it wasn’t. He told me I can return it if I wasn’t satisfied, so I will but I’d like to make sure that you could filter this for me, because I guess you can’t filter a DVD, right?

    1. Thank you for asking us about VidAngel! We offer the filters for some of the titles you can access through Netflix, Amazon, and Apple TV+. Our subscription plan is $9.99 a month and allows you to watch some of your favorite titles from your Netflix, Amazon Video, Amazon Prime, Amazon Channels Showtime, Amazon Channels STARZ, and Amazon Channels Paramount+ accounts all on VidAngel with filters. You can also view original Angel Studios content such as The Chosen and Dry Bar Comedy, all through the VidAngel mobile app, website, and Apple TV apps. Please note that we cannot filter everything, but we add more titles weekly and love hearing your requests!

    1. We provide heterosexual/homosexual filters for nudity, sex, kissing, and flirting. For an example of a filter we have in Season 1, episode 5 of “Severance” – Under sexually suggestive: “A man seductively rubs another man’s hand.” We care deeply about being consistent with our filter options. If there is an interaction we have missed, please contact our team by clicking the link and let us know!

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