Netflix’s Bird Box Warning Means it Must Take Off its Own Blindfold

Written by PTC | Published January 3, 2019

Netflixxx Netflix’s warning to viewers not to take the “Bird Box Challenge” -- inspired by Netflix's own movie -- proves the company’s blatant double-standard regarding the potential harm that its programming can have on viewers. Netflix's recent film Bird Box features a storyline in which people must make their way through the world while blindfolded, or else go insane when they see a mysterious force or being. Influenced by the movie, many people have attempted mundane -- and sometimes, dangerous -- stunts while blindfolded, and posted their resulting accidents on social media. Netflix posted the following tweet in response to reports of injuries stemming from the “Bird Box Challenge”: “Can’t believe I have to say this, but: PLEASE DO NOT HURT YOURSELVES WITH THIS BIRD BOX CHALLENGE. We don’t know how this started, and we appreciate the love, but Boy and Girl have just one wish for 2019 and it is that you not end up in the hospital due to memes.” “Netflix can no longer pretend that its programming doesn’t impact the behavior of its viewers. While we applaud the company’s reluctant warning, it simultaneously serves as an admission that its program content does, in fact, create a potential harm to viewers,” said PTC President Tim Winter. “Netflix’s corporate tweet opened with the words ‘Can’t believe I have to say this,’ but even their own research has proven that their content has an impact on viewers. And Netflix is fully aware of the scientific research that proves a connection between their program content and its impact on viewers. “The film’s fictional characters may have ‘one wish for 2019’ that nobody ends up in the hospital. We certainly agree. But we add to it our wish for 2019: that Netflix ceases to market and distribute content proven to be harmful to children, like the suicide drama ‘13 Reasons Why’; that Netflix ceases to exhibit programming that grotesquely sexualizes children, as the cartoon ‘Big Mouth’ does; and that Netflix ceases to distribute content that borders on child pornography, as the film ‘Desire’ does. “It is time for Netflix to show real concern for children and families. The company can do so by unequivocally and affirmatively removing its own self-made blindfold about the impact its program content can have on viewers -- especially children.”

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