THR, Netflix

Netflix Comes Under Fire Over ‘Stranger Things’

Jul 8, 2019  •  Post A Comment

Netflix says it will implement changes going forward after the arrival of a new season of its hit show “Stranger Things” sparked criticism over the youth-oriented series’ depiction of smoking.

“Netflix says it will cut back on depictions of smoking in its shows in the wake of a report that called out the streamer for the number of instances in which characters use tobacco in shows like ‘Stranger Things,'” The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

The report quotes a Netflix spokesperson saying: “Netflix strongly supports artistic expression. We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people. Going forward, all new projects that we commission with ratings of TV-14 or below for series or PG-13 or below for films, will be smoking and e-cigarette free — except for reasons of historical or factual accuracy. For new projects with higher ratings, there’ll be no smoking or e-cigarettes unless it’s essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it’s character-defining (historically or culturally important).”

The announcement comes after a report by the nonprofit public health organization The Truth Initiative, which is trying to eliminate tobacco use, examined the use of tobacco in 13 shows across broadcast, cable and streaming services.

“The study found that, for a second consecutive year, Netflix ‘topped the list with nearly triple the number of tobacco instances (866) compared with the prior year (299),'” THR reports.

THR quotes the report saying: “Smoking on the small screen has gone from common to nearly unavoidable, as popular programs like ‘Stranger Things,’ [Netflix’s] ‘Orange Is the New Black’ and [ABC’s] ‘Modern Family’ increasingly show images of tobacco and portray characters who smoke.”


  1. I remember seeing ads for Marlboro when I was a kid. Banning TV ads didn’t stop people from smoking. Heavy taxes hasn’t stopped them now. Smoking has been used as a character trait in various art forms since it’s been around, and I don’t see that being the issue that non-smoking advocates should be focusing on.

    The advocates should take their fight to the laws and money that protect its existance. I just saw that a major cigarette company was looking to expand their vaping industry because it looks like the next big thing.

    They can make it taste like candy, and put it in some cool futuristic-looking device. No cigarette to hold, no need to carry a lighter, and no gross tobacco taste. Vaping seems to me like a much bigger threat to the children of America, than anyone smoking in Stranger Things.

  2. Okay, so now people don’t smoke in real life?! I’m so sick of this PC crap, it just makes me want to cry. I’m 70 years old and I’ve never seen such a mess in my life. If I was Netflix I’d tell that group to go to hell. Or, I would do more smoking scenes just to P them O !

  3. There is less smoking on this show than there is in the parking lot at most schools.

  4. Guilty Cleric, well done my friend! The PC police are at it again, I wish they would roll up in a ball and go die in the corner somewhere, it’s getting really boring. Semper Fi, Robbie

  5. This show is set in the 1980s, right? Everyone smoked back then: in restaurants, at desks at work, in movie theaters, in cars, on airplanes, in their homes, around children, in bed & at the dinner table. I’m not saying it was right, just that IT FACTUALLY, HISTORICALLY HAPPENED. I’m so very tired of entertainment medium: books, movies, television, etc., white-washing history for today’s standards of behavior and PC rules.
    And on a completely different PC topic, I grew up in Brooklyn, NY, a preteen during integrated school busing.I know what was what–I lived it. No one, and I mean no one, black or white liked integrated school busing. The bused kids hated being ripped out of their communities, the adults in the bused to communities felt threatened and alarmed by this change. That’s how it was back then. There were real divides, fear, racial tensions and the kids were caught up in the middle. You can’t go back and make today’s ‘enlightened’ times re-staged in some kind of retro fit. Doesn’t work that way.

  6. Shame on Netflix if you bow to the PC morons. If the morons don’t like it, don’t watch it. That goes for controlling your brats too PC idiots. Parent your children yourselves!

  7. Netflix also has a film titled “Desire” currently streaming on its website. This film contains child masturbation which is a far more heinous crime than smoking (which is period appropriate for the show, I would argue), yet Netflix has not removed the film or taken any action to further prevent this type of content from appearing on their site.

    For those who may not know about the film, the children in the film Desire are 9 and 10 years old.

    Here is a description of the scene: (TRIGGER WARNING) In the scene the children imitate a horse riding from a western on tv and one of them has an orgasm from implied masturbation. According to the director of the film, the children had no idea what they were doing and the children’s mothers were present in the room, so he thought it was “okay.”

    It is not acceptable for Netflix to ignore parents who protest including underage masturbation AKA child pornography on their website, and then to immediately change their policies over period appropriate smoking in Stranger Things.

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