Disney+ Blasted By Parents Television Council Over Adding Mature Content
On March 16th 2022, the first wave of mature content to arrive onto Disney+ in the United States will be the former Netflix Original Marvel series, “Daredevil”, “Jessica Jones”, “The Defenders”, “The Punisher”, “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist”, all of which are rated TV-MA.
To go alongside this new content, Disney+ in the United States will be getting an update to its parental controls, which will prompt the primary account holder to 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.
Other streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon, Peacock, Paramount+, Hulu and HBO Max, all have content for all ages, along with parental controls to restrict access to mature content. So the new parental control options put Disney+ in line with every other major streaming service.
While the announcement of the former Netflix Marvel series has gone down very well with most Disney+ subscribers and especially with Marvel fans, as expected, the launch of the mature Marvel series has raised some issues.
The Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) has come out with a statement about the upcoming changes to Disney+, where they have applauded Disney+ for planning an update to its parental controls, but simultaneously has denounced the company’s decision to add six TV-MA (Mature Audiences Only) rated Marvel television series to the platform.
In a statement, Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television and Media Council, said:
“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. 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.”
This new update, will bring the parental controls for Disney+ in the United States, in line with how the streaming service operates internationally in countries such as the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and across Asia and Europe, which have had access to general entertainment since a sixth brand called Star, was introduced to Disney+ in February 2021.
Since Disney+ added more general entertainment from its studios like FX, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and ABC, across the world, they’ve found that subscribers are much more engaged with the streaming service, watching much more and being less likely to leave Disney+. The streaming service has also won numerous awards internationally, with it having some of the most popular films and series available.
Disney+ subscribers around the world have had access to content aimed at mature viewers such as “Deadpool”, “Dopesick”, “Only Murders In The Building”, and even more recently, “Pam & Tommy”. This has been in place for over a year, and all of this content is limited to profiles with a 16+/18+ setting, and there has been very little negative feedback from the inclusion of more general entertainment content.
The new parental controls and mature content being added in the United States, will give older Disney+ subscribers more content to watch, while still having all the great content for kids and families. But parents will need to double-check their parental control options after March 16th to ensure their children only have access to the content they want them to have. Which international Disney+ subscribers have been doing for over a year, without many issues.
If you are worried about the new parental controls , here are some details on how to change your profile settings:
Users can set content ratings for each profile*. Once set, shows and movies rated higher than the profile’s content rating will not be shown while browsing or searching Disney+.
To adjust a profile’s content ratings, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to your profiles and select Edit profiles
- Select the profile you’d like to edit
- Under Parental Controls, select Content rating
- Enter your password
- Choose the content rating you’d like to set and Save
Once set, shows and movies rated higher than a profile’s content rating will not be shown while browsing or searching Disney+.
*Content ratings are not supported on a Kid’s profile.
A Kid’s profile offers an easy-to-navigate Disney+ interface that only features content suitable for all viewers. You can also enable the kid-proof exit feature to ensure young viewers aren’t navigating to other profiles without completing an exit challenge.
Set a 4-digit Profile PIN to restrict others from accessing your profile on Disney+.You can manage your PIN at any time from the Edit profile screen.
To set up or manage your PIN, follow the steps below:
- Navigate to your profiles and select Edit Profiles
- Select your profile
- Select Profile PIN under Parental Controls
- Enter your password and select Continue
- Enter, change, or remove your PIN and select Save
If you can’t remember your PIN, select the Forgot your PIN? option when you’re prompted to enter it — once you verify your account by entering your password your PIN can be reset.
Robust parental controls ensure that Disney+ remains a suitable viewing experience for everyone in the family. Subscribers can set access limits on mature content and create PIN protected profiles, alongside the already existing Kid Profiles, to give parents and guardians peace of mind.
What do you think of Disney+ adding more mature content?