Disney+ Slammed for Decision to Include R-Rated Movies on Platform

by Shelby Scott

Of the litany of streaming platforms available to viewers, including Netflix, Hulu, and Paramount Plus, Disney+ has got to be the tamest in terms of content. However, now, as the streaming industry rapidly dominates cable, Disney+ has come under fire after making the decision to add R-rated movies to its platform.

Per a post from What’s On Disney Plus, the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC) has called out the streamer, reminding readers of a promise that the Walt Disney Company made previously to keep R-rated films off the platform. Specifically, the council’s president, Tim Winter, wrote, “Three years ago, the Walt Disney Company made a promise to families: No R-rated movies on Disney+, they said. It’s a family-focused platform, they said.” More critically, Winter wrote, “It turns out they were lying to us.”

The PTC’s letter came after Disney+ made the move to add R-rated films to its platform including Marvel’s Deadpool and Deadpool 2 starring Hollywood stalwart Ryan Reynolds, as well as Logan starring Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Despite the backlash, however, it makes sense that the company made the move to add the mature films as the majority of Disney’s other hit Marvel movies, including Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers all reside on the platform.

In response to the backlash, Disney+ encouraged parents to revisit their parental controls, which enable moms and dads to limit what their children have access to. As per the outlet, the parental controls allow parents to set access limits on the platform, in addition to creating PIN-protected profiles to go alongside their Kids Profiles.

Disney+ Adds R-Rated Films In The U.S. Following International Influence

The PTC is clearly none too happy that Disney+ has given subscribers access to R-Rated films. However, outside of the United States, streamers have had access to mature movies for more than a year. In order to maintain linearity with its international platform, the media outlet states Disney+ added shows including Daredevil and The Defenders a while ago, but the addition of the aforementioned Marvel films took a few more months.

Meanwhile, across the globe, Disney+ has added various general entertainment programs from a host of its studios, including FX, 20th Century Studios, and ABC. Several additions from those studios include The Walking Dead and Pam & Tommy.

Later this year, the outlet states Disney+ plans to add even more general entertainment content to the platform. Viewers should see a significant increase in entertainment accessibility after the streamer incorporates its new ad-supported tier later this year.

Aside from general content and diverging back to the streaming platform’s conflict with parents, the PTC claimed the addition of R-rated films has destroyed users’ trust in Disney. Their letter further read, “While Disney+ points subscribers to its parental controls, the mere presence of R-rated and TV-MA rated content violates the trust and sensibilities of families. What took decades to build is now taking mere months to erase.”

In contrast, the company’s R-rated films, like Deadpool, became massive successes with mature audiences. So while Disney+ is originally targeted at families, it might be to the streamer’s benefit to add mature content as it will also attract more diverse age groups.