Netflix has promised to cut back on the fags.
The streamer has announced that it will introduce a new policy with regards to the depiction of cigarette and e-cigarette smoking in its TV shows and films, after a report from anti-tobacco organisation Truth Initiative said that its titles show more than broadcast shows.
From now on, new projects that it commissions with a rating of TV-14 or Pg-13 (the third highest rating in the USA) will be smoking and e-cigarette free. Projects with higher ratings will only have smoking if it is “essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it’s character-defining.”
Smoking information will also be included as part of the ratings on Netflix, notes about which will begin to appear in the top left hand corner of the screen at the beginning of each title, alongside notifications about sexual and violent content.
The news coincides – coincidentally, Netflix says – with the launch of Stranger Things 3, a show whose adult protagonist, Jim Hopper (David Harbour), is a chain-smoking cop.
A Netflix source told RadioTimes.com that it began “discouraging the portrayal of smoking in our content last year for newly commissioned series and films – particularly in titles directed to younger audiences”, but that it had not shared anything with the media until now.
Check out the full statement from Netflix below.
“Netflix strongly supports artistic expression,” a spokesperson for the streaming site said. “We also recognise 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). In addition, starting later this year, smoking information will be included as part of our ratings on the Netflix service so our members can make informed choices about what they watch.”