Disney’s streaming service, Disney Plus, now features content rated TV-MA for adult audiences, some of which include sex scenes and graphic violence.
The films in question are all six of the Marvel TV series “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” “The Defenders,” “The Punisher” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,” The Christian Post reports.
Disney Plus has updated its parental controls accordingly, prompting users to select content ratings for each profile, which are locked with PINs.
The Marvel series, some of which are rated TV-MA, mark the first time that the family-friendly streaming service has featured the equivalent of R-rated content; previously, the highest rating available on the service was TV-14.
Some of the more inappropriate scenes in the series, the Post notes, include “Daredevil and Elektra’s sex scene (‘Daredevil’ S2, E5), a strip club scene (‘Luke Cage’ S1, E1), a man burned alive (‘Luke Cage’ S2, E10) and more.”
“Disney+ has served as the home for some of the most beloved brands in the industry, and the addition of these live-action shows brings more from the Marvel brand together, all in one place,” Disney’s president of streaming, Michael Paull, said in a statement.
“We have experienced great success with an expanded content offering on Disney+ across our global markets and are excited to continue that here in the U.S. as well by offering our consumers not only great content with the new Marvel additions, but also a set of features that help ensure a viewing experience most suitable for them and their family,” he also said.
According to The Federalist, the series became available on March 16, prompting backlash from family entertainment activists who warn that the historically child-friendly company is sending the wrong message to consumers by hosting explicit content on the streaming service.
“It’s certainly counter to how most parents perceive Disney Plus,” Melissa Henson, program director for Parents Television and Media Counsel, told the outlet. “Out of the gate, Disney Plus branded itself as: ‘Everything on here, you can be comfortable sitting down and watching these shows and films with your kids.’”
Michael Foust, an entertainment writer for Crosswalk, noted that while parents shouldn’t use media as a babysitter, with a well-established family-oriented brand like Disney, parents “don’t constantly worry about kids stumbling upon something that conflicts with your values.”
What’s more, he told The Federalist, “The problem is kids automatically believe animated shows and superhero films are kid-friendly.”
He added that companies like McDonald’s, which promoted ‘Avengers: Endgame’ in a Happy Meal, further convey this impression to small children, like his own 4-year-old who had to be told he wasn’t going to be allowed to watch the PG-13 movie.
“These shows really increase the violence, along with adding innuendo and sexual content,” he added of Disney Plus’ shift towards more adult content. “This is a dramatic departure. It’s puzzling why these edgy shows aren’t heading to Hulu instead, which is known for adult-targeted content.”
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