Matt Murdock’s impending arrival on Disney+ is great news for some and catastrophic news for others. The Parents Television and Media Council — a self-proclaimed “non-profit, nonpartisan research and education organization advocating responsible entertainment” — has officially voiced its opposition to Daredevil and the other Marvel Netflix shows making their way to Disney+ next week.
“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,” Tim Winter, President of the PTMC, said in a statement this week. “The company’s eponymous platform Disney+ logically marketed itself as a family-friendly streaming service, and parents have placed their trust in Disney to deliver just that. It seems wildly ‘off-brand’ for Disney+ 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 collection of small screen Marvel projects (which also includes Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders miniseries) will become available on Wednesday, March 16 with newly-added parental controls that go into effect the same day. Despite this added measure to prevent younger audiences from accessing the mature content, the council warned of the Mouse House harming its own kid-friendly brand by moving beyond the platform’s initial policy of only featuring pieces of media rated TV-14 or younger.
“While we applaud Disney+ for improving their parental controls, the mere presence of MA and R-rated content violates the trust of families, and may well turn them off entirely,” Winter continued. “There is no need for Disney+ to compete with the explicit content on other streaming platforms. Disney is already at a competitive advantage with a streaming platform that is the safest one out there for families. Its foray into TV-MA-rated fare will forever tarnish its family friendly crown.”
Disney’s decision to absorb Daredevil and his Defender buddies after the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye (which featured the return of Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio as Murdock and Kingpin, respectively) does suggest a plan to reincorporate the darker Netflix characters into the mainstream — and typically more light-hearted — Marvel Cinematic Universe. As such, the Parents Television and Media Council can probably rest assured that Wilson Fisk won’t be crushing off anyone’s head with a car door anytime soon.
It is interesting Disney opted to add the Marvel shows acquired from Netflix to Disney+ and not Hulu, which has traditionally been the company’s home for more mature content. But with those characters seemingly being added to the fold, it makes obvious sense why Marvel Studios would want them all under the same streaming service catalog.
The shows hit Disney+ on March 16 if you need to catch up on all the MA-rated fuss.