Although the Disney+ premieres of deadpool, Deadpool 2 and Logan were celebrated by many fans, the move drew sharp criticism Friday from a conservative media advocacy group.
The Parents Television and Media Council called out what it views as a broken promise by Disney not to add R-rated movies to its streaming service.
“Three years ago, the Walt Disney Company made a promise to families: No R-rated movies on Disney+, they said. It’s a family-focused platform, they said. We have Hulu for our edgier adult fare, they said,” the group’s president, Tim Winter, said in a statement. “It turns out they were lying to us. After decades of corporate brilliance establishing itself as the world’s most trusted brand for families, today’s C-level suite at Disney has decided to flush it all down the toilet.”
Winter’s comments reference early indications, in 2018 and 2019, that any adult-oriented content — such as some properties acquired in the purchase of Fox — would stream on Disney-controlled Hulu, while Disney+ would be home to more family-friendly fare .
“While Disney+ points subscribers to its parental controls,” Winter continued, “the mere presence of R-rated and TV-MA rated content violates the trust and sensibilities of families. What took decades to build is now taking mere months to erase.”
The PTC previously criticized Disney+ in March for adding Marvel’s former Netflix series — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and The Punisher — to its lineup. Branded by the platform as “The Defenders Saga,” each of the series bears a TV-MA rating, roughly equivalent to a PG-13 or R ratings issued by the Motion Picture Association.
PTC Previously Talk Aim at Disney+ for Adding Marvel’s Netflix Series
“It seems wildly ‘off-brand’ for Disney+ to add TV-MA and R-rated programming to this platform, ostensibly to increase subscription revenue,” Winter said in the March statement, before wading into hyperbole. “So what comes next, adding live striptease performances in Fantasyland at Disney World?”
Established in 1995 by conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III, founder of the Media Research Center, the PTC professes a mission “to protect children from the proven harm that comes from their exposure to graphic sex, violence and profanity in entertainment media.”
The group made a name for itself with criticism of such 1990s TV series as Friends, Ally McBeal and Ellen. Each television season, the PTC also releases a list of the best and worst primetime programming for families. Earlier this month, the PTC issued a report about what it terms a “major increase of explicit adult content” on Netflix’s Stranger Things. That was promptly followed by a call for the hit series to care a TV-MA warning instead of the current TV-14..
Source: Parents Television and Media Council