Shows rated TV-14 or lower or movies rated PG-13 or lower that Netflix commissions will have smoking removed, including tobacco, cigarette smoking, and even vaping.
Netflix told Variety that moving forward they would be reducing the appearance of smoking in their shows that aren’t TV-MA or movies that aren’t R or higher, with the only other condition being for historical or cultural purposes, saying…
“[…] unless it’s essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it’s character-defining (historically or culturally important),” […] “Netflix strongly supports artistic expression. We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people.”
This comes after the Truth Initiative published a report on July 2nd, 2019 condemning streaming services for promoting smoking.
According to the Truth report…
“Our prior analysis found that Netflix programs depicted more smoking imagery than broadcast shows. In 2019, Truth Initiative researchers re-analyzed tobacco content in the same episodic programming most popular with young people between 15 and 24 years old and found that Netflix once again topped the list with nearly triple the number of tobacco instances (866) compared with the prior year (299). Broadcast/cable programming showed nearly two and a half times more tobacco imagery than the previous year. Overall, 92% of the shows analyzed contained images of tobacco in the 2016-17 season, up from 79% in the 2015-16 season.”
They estimated that 28 million young people were affected by the media influence of smoking depicted in streaming shows.
The report also indicated that tobacco imagery is on the rise via the small screen, and that shows like Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt showcased high amounts of tobacco use, especially between the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Engadget notes that the report from Truth was strategically released just ahead of Stranger Things‘ third season on Netflix.
(Thanks for the news tip FanServiceAvenger)