This week, Disney+ will add a slew of new mature titles to the U.S. platform. Marvel live-action series “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” “The Defenders,” “The Punisher,” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” are all heading to Disney+ on March 16, along with enhanced parental controls.
Now, The Parents Television Council is bashing the streaming service for adding mature content since Disney is regarded as a family-friendly brand. Prior to adding these new TV-MA titles, Disney+ has only only allowed content rated TV-14 and younger like the Marvel series and movies, West Side Story, Free Guy, Jungle Cruise and others, which are all rated PG-13.
President of the Parents Television and Media Council Tim Winter had a lengthy statement on the move.
“For more than 98 years, the Walt Disney Company has been synonymous with the words Family Friendly, and I can think of no other corporation in American history that has been built more squarely on the backs – and on the wallets – of parents and families,” Winter said. “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. 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?”
“While we applaud Disney+ for improving their parental controls, the mere presence of MA- and R-rated content violates the trust of families, and may well turn them off entirely.
“There is no need for Disney+ to compete with the explicit content on other streaming platforms. Disney is already at a competitive advantage with a streaming platform that is the safest one out there for families. Its foray into TV-MA-rated fare will forever tarnish its family friendly crown.”
U.S. viewers are some of the later audiences to be getting mature content on Disney+. UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and across Asia and Europe have all had access to general content for more than a year with titles like “Deadpool”, “Dopesick”, “Only Murders In The Building”, and now “Pam & Tommy”. These titles are locked behind parental controls that require 16+/18+ profiles.
With the addition of the mature Marvel content this week, Disney+ is adding enhanced profile restrictions more inline with what the rest of the world’s markets have.
When opening Disney+ for the first time on or after March 16, all subscribers in the U.S. will be prompted to update their Parental Controls. This includes the option to select content ratings restrictions for each profile as well as to add a PIN to lock profiles. Those that choose to keep their settings the same will continue to enjoy Disney+ as they always have within a TV-14 content rating environment, with the option to make changes at any time under Profile settings.