SALT LAKE CITY — Netflix may not be as family friendly as you think.
That’s the thought of Parents Television Council Tim Winter, who wrote an opinion piece for USA Today this week. Winter said Netflix’s choice of content shows the subscription service has turned its back on American families.
“Shiny and powerful, Netflix is the entertainment industry’s Trojan horse — a seeming gift for families, allowing parents some control over what their kids can watch. In reality, what Netflix delivers should give parents extreme pause,” he wrote.
Winter said Netflix hasn’t considered family audiences when deciding on what content to share on its service. Sure, they’ve released family shows like the “Fuller House” reboot and cartoons.
But they’re still ignoring families.
“But Netflix has so far been unwilling to make the kind of meaningful reforms that would make family viewing a safe and enjoyable experience for all members of the family, and has been too willing to defend potentially harmful, problematic, even pornographic, content,” according to USA Today.
Winter said “13 Reasons Why,” which depicts teen suicide, and “Desire,” which shows a sexually charged scene with a 9-year-old, is more proof.
“Families have become increasingly reliant on Netflix as an alternative to traditional broadcast and cable television, but the reality is that Netflix is not trustworthy. And to date, Netflix is defiant when it comes to owning any responsibility for the potentially harmful products it delivers,” he wrote.
Winter has been a longtime critic of Netflix and Hollywood, often saying Hollywood tries to “sex up” family content. Back in September 2017, Winter said Netflix should make its service better for families by partnering with family-friendly filtering companies, like ClearPlay and VidAngel, according to my report for the Deseret News.
Winter suggested Netflix could improve its parental controls and separate children’s content from adult content.
He said he hopes Netflix will make changes, too.
"By making these changes, Netflix would become a much more family-friendly environment for the growing legions of cord-cutting parents who are turning to streaming video services for their family entertainment needs," Winter said. "Not only is this an important matter for your family subscribers, but we believe it to be in Netflix’s strategic financial interest to do more to keep families interested in your service, and to your family market."