The head of a media watchdog organization says executives at Netflix are demonstrating the "height of arrogance" by avoiding talks with his group about rethinking programming choices to help better protect children from harmful content.
Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, is a former NBC and MGM executive. He's warning parents that the popular streaming service cannot be trusted and that its choice of content proves it has turned its back on families. In a recent column for USA Today, Winter chastises Netflix for being "unwilling to make the kind of meaningful reforms that would make family viewing a safe and enjoyable experience for all members of the family."
In an interview with OneNewsNow, he explains: "What they're producing and distributing and making available to children is harmful, toxic, [and] potentially – in some cases we're hearing news stories – possibly even deadly to children." That's a reference to the controversial teen suicide drama13 ReasonsWhy.
And that's why PTC is sounding the alarm, he continues.
"We're making sure that parents are aware that this is a Pandora's box that they're opening up with their children and they have to be more aware," says Winter. "We're trying as hard as we can to get Netflix to come and be a more responsible corporate citizen, to help parents make sure that they can protect their children from the explicit content – and sadly, Netflix is not stepping up to the plate."
Winter says Netflix executives have lost touch with the harm that their product is perpetrating on American families – and as a result, he writes, "the reality is that Netflix is not trustworthy" for families who have come to rely on the streaming service as an alternative to traditional broadcast and cable television.
The PTC president acknowledges that many parents see that there is some good content on Netflix and that it allows some control on what their youngsters can watch. Toward that end, PTC program director Melissa Henson has authored "A Parent's Guide to Streaming Video," available here. It addresses other streaming services besides Netflix.