Earlier this week, Disney announced that it was going to offer a new streaming bundle, which includes Disney+, Hulu and Max, offering cheaper access to a wide selection of entertainment from the biggest and most beloved brands in entertainment, including ABC, CNN, DC, Discovery, Disney, Food Network, FX, HBO, HGTV, Hulu, Marvel, Pixar, Searchlight, Warner Bros., and many more.

The new bundle will have two options, with ads and without.  No release date or pricing details for this new bundle have been announced yet.  Disney will also be partnering with Fox and Warner Brothers Discovery on a new unnamed sports streaming service, which will also be available to be combined with this new bundle.

While this new bundle has generally been received well by many subscribers, especially those who already have the three streaming services, and this might save them money, the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) are unhappy that Disney is teaming with HBO due to its association with explicit content.

The PTC is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media.

Melissa Henson, vice president of the Parents Television and Media Council, said in a statement regarding the new bundle:

“Disney’s new partnership with HBO’s Max is akin to putting the Playboy Mansion inside the gates of Disneyland. This entirely inappropriate partnership will give children access to some of the most sexually explicit, graphically violent, and profane content available on streaming platforms today, and will further alienate families that have trusted Disney.

Disney will spin this news as good for families, but they see through this charade. Disney has continued to move its streaming business towards including R- and TV-MA-rated and sexually themed content targeted at children and has even employed Disney executives who have openly admitted to their overt efforts to insert sexual themes into child-targeted programming. This Max partnership further cements Disney’s reputation as anti-family.

Max programs and its weak parental controls have enabled children to access some of the most explicit streaming content on the market, including Euphoria, which has featured statutory rape and sexual exploitation, illicit drug abuse, graphic teen sex, and pornography use – all portrayed as a normal part of the teenage experience, and The Idol, cited as “pornographic,” a “sordid male fantasy,” a “darker, crazier, and more risqué version” of Euphoria.

Disney must recognize the harm this partnership with Max will have on its audience of children and families, along with its further tarnishing its reputation, and should immediately cancel its plans to move forward,”

This isn’t the first time that the PTC has called out Disney for its change in strategy since the streaming platform launched in 2019, having previously objected to the addition of more general entertainment content like “Deadpool” and “Daredevil” being added to Disney+ and, most recently, with the addition of Hulu On Disney+.

The PTC is very vocal about wanting Disney to return back to the time when they only made “wholesome” content, which was probably back in the early 1980s before Disney created general entertainment movies under the Touchstone brand and later when it purchased ABC.

The recent addition of Hulu On Disney+ in the United States brings Disney+ in line with how Disney+ has operated internationally for years. It offers more varied content from Disney’s mature studios like 20th Century Studios, FX, and ABC.  This has made more adult-themed content like “Poor Things” and “Pam & Tommy” available within the app for adult viewers.   As you might expect, the launch of Hulu On Disney+ did get some backlash from parents who want Disney+ to remain simply child-friendly, but the stats have also shown that engagement and subscriptions have grown following the addition of more general entertainment.

It’s still not been clear if Max content will also be available within Disney+ as an add-on like Hulu or the upcoming ESPN hub or if it will remain simply as two separate apps.

While Max does include content from HBO that is known for being a little more risque, with shows like “Game Of Thrones”, it also offers a wide selection of children’s content, including the Looney Tunes and more.

Roger’s POV:  The idea of Disney returning back to only making “wholesome” content just isn’t going to work nowadays, and keeping Disney+ as just a kids-only app with nothing more than “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Bluey” has proven not to work on a grand scale.  Disney+ needs variety to compete with Amazon and Netflix, or else it will eventually simply be swallowed up by tech giants.   Disney+, Hulu, and Max all have parental controls in place to protect younger audiences from watching appropriate content, and all have aged ratings to guide parents on what to watch, who ultimately have to take responsibility for what’s being watched and educate themselves on how to use the tools available correctly to filter out what they don’t want their children to watch, like they have to do on every other streaming service.

What do you think of the PTC’s comments about the new bundle?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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