Today, The Walt Disney Company is holding its annual shareholder’s meeting and the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC), along with over ten thousand concerned parents, grandparents, and other adults that signed a petition to Disney, are calling on the Disney Board of Directors to remove sexually-themed content targeted at children in Disney entertainment and on Disney-owned platforms, and to return to producing uplifting, clean, inspiring content that families can trust.
In a statement, Melissa Henson, vice president of the Parents Television and Media Council, said:
“A young female character performs a sex act on herself. A teacher and her minor student have an illicit, and illegal, sexual relationship that is romanticized. A female teen finds out her dad is the antichrist. All of these are scenes and/or themes from programs that currently air on Disney-owned platforms. All are targeted towards our youth.
The Disney Board of Directors cannot stand idly by while the company produces and makes available sexually themed content targeted to children. The board cannot dismiss rightful concerns by saying ‘you don’t have to watch it if you want to.’ Protecting children from exploitation is the job of every decent human being, and most assuredly, the job of a company whose name has been synonymous with family entertainment.
Disney has broken faith with America’s families by enabling sexualized and exploitative content on its Hulu streaming platform like PEN15 and A Teacher, and on the FX and FXX cable channels with Little Demon. It has broken promises to America’s families by adding R-rated content to the Disney+ streaming platform. And even Disney executives have been publicly exposed, openly admitting to their overt efforts to insert sexual themes into child-targeted programming.
The Disney Board must work to restore the public’s trust in the integrity of the Disney brand by removing sexually themed programming from all of its platforms. That is the only way to make it again one of the most trusted brands in America, synonymous with child-safe, wholesome, and family-friendly content,”
It is worth noting that the shows that the PTC are referencing, “A Teacher”, “PEN15”, and “Little Demon”, are all rated as TV-MA, which signifies the content for mature audiences. These shows are currently only available in the United States on Hulu, while internationally, some of the shows are available on Disney+ under the Star banner. Other streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon and HBO Max, also all offer content for all ages, including mature content.
Both Disney+ and Hulu have robust parental controls to ensure that both streaming services remain 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 Kids Profiles to give parents and guardians peace of mind.
And even Walt Disney himself once said:
You’re dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.