Disney has always been known as a family-friendly entertainment medium. However, the advocacy group, Parents Television and Media Council (PTC), have cried foul over Disney+‘s decision to add its first-ever R-rated films to its U.S. catalog. The additions include Deadpool, Deadpool 2, and Logan. Tim Winter, the conservative group’s president, criticized the Walt Disney Company for apparently straying away from its usual “family-focused” content, breaking its alleged promise made years ago –2018 and 2019, in particular–that “edgier adult fare” would stream on Hulu, while materials tailored for kids would stream on Disney+.
Winter asserted that the company promised the families that there would be designated channels for both children and adults. “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,” Winter stated adding: “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.”
The 20th Century Fox-produced Marvel films that were added to Disney+ are intended for a more mature audience as they contain graphic violence, nudity, strong language, and sexual content. However, some fans still celebrated the addition of the said films to the extensive Marvel Collection on Disney+. In response to the mature content, Disney+ directs subscribers to its parental controls; regardless, Winter explained that the “trust and sensibilities” of families are violated by the sheer existence of R-rated and TV-MA-rated programs. “What took decades to build is now taking mere months to erase.”
This isn’t Disney+‘s first time receiving criticism for its inclusion of mature-rated Marvel shows. Back in March, Disney+ added The Defenders, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Iron Fist to its media library.
Winter shared in a March statement that the addition of such films looks radically “off-brand,” claiming that the decision was made to boost Disney+‘s subscription revenue. “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,” he continued, “So what comes next, adding live striptease performances in Fantasyland at Disney World?”
“One day in the no-too-distant future, business schools will point back to this abrupt corporate U-turn as they analyze what happened to the once-great Walt Disney Company. And in the meantime, families will continue to be woefully underserved by Hollywood,” Winter concluded.