PTC Urges Netflix CEO to Stop Labeling Adult Content for Teen Audiences

Written by PTC | Published April 29, 2020

LOS ANGELES (April 29, 2020) – The Parents Television Council is calling on Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to stop labeling adult content as appropriate for teens.

New PTC research shows that that nearly half of all programming designated as “Teen” by Netflix was rated either TV-MA (104 titles, or 40.8%) or R (23 titles, or 9.0%); and every single program that carried a TV-14 rating included the harshest profanity.

“Netflix is deceptively labeling adult content as suitable for teenagers – kids in middle school and high school – and we are requesting that Mr. Hastings take personal responsibility for stopping this harmful marketing practice,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“Parents are told to trust and rely on the ratings – but how can they, when so much harsh profanity is allowed to pass as appropriate for teens? And how can parents trust a streaming service that tries to fly under the radar by packing their ‘teen’ viewing categories with mature content?

“We know that Netflix is capable of acting responsibly – after many months of public pressure from us, Netflix cut the suicide scene from season one of 13 Reasons Why. Netflix has also announced its intention to not to include portrayals of tobacco or e-cigarette use in new TV shows rated TV-14 or lower, and in movies rated TV-13 and below. More recently, Netflix has added options to allow parents to block specific titles, as well as other improvements to Netflix’s parental controls, which we called for Netflix to make. All of these are great changes that benefit families.

“However, families are relying on Netflix to provide accurate information about content; safe title browsing, and age-appropriate marketing.

“Mr. Hastings, please immediately pull mature-rated content from your ‘teen’ categories and ensure that programming rated as appropriate for teens is actually suitable for teen viewers. This is a simple fix and we urge you to make these important changes,” Winter said.

Read the full PTC study: Teen-Targeted Broadcast TV Can Be Vulgar…But Stranger Things Are Happening On Netflix

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