Disney+ recently announced the onboarding of Netflix’s TV-MA Marvel shows, which is great news for fans of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and more, but an unaccountable tragedy for the humorless scolds at the Parents Television and Media Council. In a new open letter, the PTC said the decision “violates the trust of families” and suggested carrying such content is a slippery slope to “adding live striptease performances in Fantasyland at Disney World.”
The House of Mouse’s streaming platform is adding new parental controls for this more mature content in hopes of heading off criticisms like this. On March 16th, when Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Iron Fist, and The Defenders become available to watch, subscribers signing in to Disney+ will be prodded to select content rating restrictions, with the option of creating a PIN to lock out younger viewers. Those without access “will continue to enjoy Disney+ as they always have within a TV-14 content rating environment,” according to Disney.
That’s plenty of control for parents hoping to keep their kids away from Jessica Jones and Luke Cage’s steamier scene. But as far as the PTC is concerned, “the mere presence of MA- and R-rated content violates the trust of families.”
“The company’s eponymous platform Disney+ logically marketed itself as a family-friendly streaming service, and parents have placed their trust in Disney to deliver just that,” Tim Winter, the PTC president, wrote. “It seems wildly ‘off-brand’ for Disney+ to add TV-MA and R-rated programming to this platform, ostensibly to increase subscription revenue. So what comes next, adding live striptease performances in Fantasyland at Disney World?”
He added that Disney+’s “foray into TV-MA-rated fare will forever tarnish its family friendly crown.”
The PTC’s great love of moral panics extends to other streamers. The Council recently started a petition to “Stop Child Porn,” which is an attempt to get HBO’s Euphoria cancelled. With that same lack of cultural awareness, D.A.R.E., a failed program proven to increase drug use among students, criticized Euphoria for glamorizing drugs.
As for Disney+, it continues to experiment with its format. Later this year, the streamer will introduce a cheaper ad-supported tier.