The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) criticized Disney+ before the launch of Daredevil, the Punisher, and other Netflix-produced Marvel TV shows hitting the streaming platform on March 16, 2022. All six Defenders universe shows (DaredevilJessica JonesThe PunisherLuke CageIron FistLes Défenseurs) are rated TV-MA (adult audiences only) and therefore not suitable for children. It doesn’t sit well with the PTC, which last week criticized HBO Euphoria also, calling it “grossly irresponsible” for its graphic depiction of nudity, drug use and child abuse.
Disney+ previously had no content rated higher than PG-13, which contributed to its family appeal. The PTC recently warned the company against adding mature content, saying it would “destroy your brand.” In a statement to Disney, PTC Chairman Tim Winter said:
“For more than 98 years, The Walt Disney Company has been synonymous with the words Friendly and family, and I can think of no other society in American history that has been built more squarely on the backs – and the wallets – of parents and families. The company’s eponymous platform, Disney+, logically marketed itself as a family-friendly streaming service, and parents trusted Disney to deliver just that. It seems extremely “off-brand” for Disney+ to add TV-MA and R-rated programming to this platform, ostensibly to boost subscription revenue. So what comes next, adding live strip performances to Fantasyland at Disney World?”
The PTC is furious with Disney, as evidenced by this last remark, totally out of place. Winter also states the move as an attempt to increase subscriber count. However, the board is in favor of Disney’s decision to add stricter parental controls, but unlike everyone else, the PTC seems to have misjudged the streamer’s intent in doing this. Winter further states that Disney risks tarnishing its legacy if it releases explicit content like other streaming services.
“While we applaud Disney+ for improving its parental controls, the mere presence of MA and R rated content violates families’ trust and may well turn them off altogether. Disney+ need not compete with explicit content on other streaming platforms. Disney already has a competitive advantage with a streaming platform that is the safest for families. Its foray into TV-MA pricing will forever tarnish its family crown.
Disney+ will be the new home of Daredevil and Agents of SHIELD
The rights to Netflix’s Marvelverse (now called Defenders Universe) shows returned to Disney in 2020, but the shows themselves remained on Netflix. But since March 1, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the others are homeless and will soon be available to stream on Disney+. The move also paves the way for the Disney+ debut of Deadpool, Punisher, Blade, and other Marvel characters previously deemed too violent for the platform.
Speaking of which, the Defenders the shows – while aimed at adults – are remarkably restricted in the violence and nudity department compared to competitors like HBO Max’s Peacemaker. And anyway, what would tighter parental controls do if the entire Disney+ catalog was already kid-friendly.
ABC Agents of SHIELD, along with all previous Netflix shows, will arrive on Disney+ in the US on March 16, 2022.
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