The Parents Television Council (PTC) issued a statement condemning the decision to bring Netflix’s Marvel series “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” “Jessica Jones,” “The Defenders,” “The Punisher,” and “The Iron Fist” to the Disney+ streaming platform.
The Marvel Defenders series left Netflix February 28 and are set to premiere March 16 on Disney+. Disney has been shrinking the MCU across streamers, making Disney+ the ultimate hub for all things Marvel. However, the PTC believes that the decision could harm the Disney “family-friendly” brand.
In a letter titled “PTC to Disney: Better Online Parental Controls are Good, but TV-MA-Rated Content Destroys Your Brand,” the organization slammed the decision to add six series rated for mature audiences only; to date, Disney+ has only allowed content rated TV-14 or younger.
“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,” President of the Parents Television and Media Council Tim Winter said. “The company’s eponymous platform Disney Plus logically marketed itself as a family-friendly streaming service, and parents have placed their trust in Disney to deliver just that.”
Winter continued, “It seems wildly ‘off-brand’ for Disney Plus 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?”
The statement added that “there is no need for Disney+ to compete with the explicit content on other streaming platforms” since the company is already at a “competitive advantage” being the “safest” streamer for families.
“Its foray into TV-MA-rated fare will forever tarnish its family-friendly crown,” the letter concluded.
Disney+ will be updating its parental control setting March 16 to coincide with the Marvel Defender series release. Per the streamer, the new controls include the option to select content ratings restrictions for each profile as well as to add a PIN to lock the 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.
For example, a series like “Luke Cage,” which includes repeated use of racial epithets, will not be edited. Content permissions will need to be adjusted to TV-MA in order to view the series, the streamer confirmed to IndieWire.
Other Marvel Cinematic Universe original series on Disney+ include “WandaVision” and “Loki,” with Netflix’s Marvel Defenders series now being able to stream side by side.