After pulling ‘Peter Pan,’ ‘Dumbo,’ family TV watchdog wants Disney to act on other ‘horrific content’

After Disney+ limited several classic children’s movies on the flagship streaming service, an expert from a leading parental media watchdog group is calling on Disney to have more consistency in limiting all inappropriate content for children so there is no double standard.

Melissa Henson, program director of the Parents Television Council, an organization that aims to protect children from harmful aspects in the media, spoke with The Christian Post in a Wednesday interview about Disney+’s decision to remove several movies from children’s profiles due to stereotypes and negative depictions of certain races.

“I’m not going to say that Disney is wrong …,” Henson said. “It is worthwhile to evaluate from time to time whether the messages that we are exposing our kids to are the ones that we, in fact, want them to be exposed to. And it’s worth evaluating.”

Henson argues that just because people grow up with certain films “doesn’t mean it’s great for us to continue showing to kids.” However, she would like to see the company show more uniformity when it comes to the content it deems inappropriate for children.

“I’m not going to take the position that we should continue to expose our kids to outdated, racist depictions, but I do think that the Disney company needs to have a degree of consistency when it comes to these things,” she said. “Is that an appropriate measure to take? Yeah, you can still watch it with your kids if you want to. It’s just that you have to go over certain obstacles or barriers to do that.”

Henson said Disney should take steps to impose barriers on platforms like Hulu, which allows children to switch over to an adult profile where they could view “horrific content.” 

This, she said, poses a double standard in what content is made available to children.

“It would be nice if Disney would also impose certain obstacles and barriers, for example, on Hulu, which is now a Disney company. [If] you’re watching on a kids’ profile, you can switch over to an adult profile and get exposed to some really adult content on an adult profile without jumping through as many hurdles as you have to jump through to watch ‘Peter Pan’ for example,” Henson shared. “So, a higher degree of consistency [regarding] inappropriate material or material parents have concerns about would certainly be welcomed.”

Last month, Henson published a column voicing concerns about Disney “directly profiting from explicit content” on Hulu. 

“As majority owner, and subsequently as sole owner, Disney green-lighted such programs as ‘Pen15’ – a suggestively titled series ‘teen comedy’ that included a scene of an adolescent girl masturbating in front of a mirror; ‘A Teacher,’ about an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and her student; ‘Harlots,’ a period drama about a London brothel; and, in development a series called ‘Bitches,’ and another called ‘Punk Ass Bitch.’

Disney was once the gold standard for wholesome, family-friendly entertainment. Today, the Disney corporation stands for targeting children and teens with inappropriate, highly-sexualized content. Disney once stood for fostering positive values and coming along side parents to keep children entertained while preserving their innocence. Today, Disney stands for thwarting parents’ efforts to filter inappropriate content from coming into their homes.”


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