A family-friendly product or service is one that is considered[by whom?] to be suitable for all members of an average family. Family friendly restaurants are ones that provide service to families that have young children.
In censorship debates, the term means cultural works (including art, literature, films, television and music) that are considered by most people to be generally appropriate for children while at the same time palatable to adults. Frequently, the term "Think of the children" is used during a moral panic to censor new forms of media. Often, depiction of nudity, sex, horror, profanity, racial slurs, innuendo, drug use, blasphemy, and racism are declared to be worthy of censorship. Many parents disagree over the ages at which children should be exposed to certain forms of media. The precise definition of "family friendly" can vary depending upon the perceived acceptability of content for children — one of the most challenged books in United States libraries is Captain Underpants, a book that contains toilet humor that parents read out to children. Frequently parents that complain about media that contains profanity attempt to deny other families the ability to choose what is appropriate for their children.[clarification needed] The values of the individual family, such as their belief in religion, can also impact whether the family perceives a product as family-friendly.
Both the MPAA film rating system and most television content rating systems have ratings for family-friendliness: a G rating in either is universally acceptable for all audiences, while a PG rating suggests that, while generally safe for children to watch, that there should be a parent or guardian present for guidance, since some mild adult-oriented material may be present. The MPAA's film rating system has not been without controversy (itself established after the Hays Code, which required all films to be at least somewhat family-friendly, was abolished), as theater chain interest groups have noted that films rated as high as R (adult-oriented films that persons under 17 cannot watch without an adult) could be interpreted as being family-friendly if the viewer is tolerant of profanity, while others may have far too much graphic violence or borderline-pornographic sexual images to be suitable for children. The North American Entertainment Software Rating Board, which rates video games, classifies family-friendly content with an E rating.
Frequently, family friendly products avoid marketing solely to children and attempt to make the product palatable to adults as well. Some examples of companies who promote products intended to be family-friendly include INSP, Hallmark, Discovery Family, Me-TV Network, Antenna TV, Light TV, Cozi TV, The Walt Disney Company, Mojang, Nickelodeon, Boomerang, Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Hope Channel, Trinity Broadcasting Network, Nintendo, Litton Entertainment, Pixar, Sullivan Bluth Studios, Golden Films, Activision Blizzard Studios, and Sierra Entertainment.
In politics, new workplace legislation may be introduced to strengthen the family unit through giving parents more flexible family-friendly working hours or educational reforms to helping children with special needs and to give parents more choice in how they are schooled.
The concept of family-friendliness within the tourism sector is constantly evolving. Hotels concentrate new services towards family-friendliness in a narrower concept such as child (kids stay and eat free) and pet-friendliness (pet friendly hotel chains) within the overall family-friendliness customer orientated concept.
The American Library Association maintains a list of the most challenged books, which are frequently claimed to be inappropriate for children. They stated in a release by the National Coalition Against Censorship that "This year's #1 banned book, Captain Underpants... is the gift that keeps on giving. Why? Because these popular, silly books are read by parents, with their children, all over the country. The potty humor makes parents roll their eyes and kids giggle. The absurdity of banning books in order to attack perceived moral problems is exemplified by this year's winner.
An overwhelming theme of television in the 1990s was the trend of the family sitcom. This trend became enormously popular in the 90’s with shows such as Full House, Boy Meets World, Family Matters, Home Improvement, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Step by Step. During their prime, these shows were some of the hottest sitcoms on TV.
A family-friendly (or all-ages) show, event or venue refers to one with no age restrictions for entry. In the United States, as applied to the world of concerts, this can refer to a show or venue where minors are permitted to attend a live performance, since those who are not of legal drinking age are generally not permitted in bars, but are permitted in restaurants which serve alcoholic beverages. In some cases the pop-up retail model is applied, as with the pop-up venues at the Treefort Music Fest.
More ideologically, following the trends of punk rock and embracing to an extent the opposition to drugs and alcohol inherent in the Straight-edge movement, All Ages shows have either no alcohol sales whatsoever, or sales are restricted through a system of wristbands or for patrons legally prohibited from consuming alcohol, generally as a large, black, "X" on the back of each hand. This symbol has been featured on many punk album covers, and the attendant term, "All Ages," was used as the title of a compilation album by North American punk icons Bad Religion. The term in this context does not denote a restriction on the thematic or lyrical content of the music.
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