Movies & TV / News

Netflix to Cut Down on Smoking in Original Shows Following Stranger Things Criticism

July 4, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Stranger Things

Netflix has pledged to cut down on depictions of smoking in their original content following criticism of Stranger Things season two. Variety reports that the series drew criticsm from the anti-smoking organization the Truth Initiative over the amount of adult characters who smoke in the show. The campaign released a report in conjunction with the release of season three that noted the show had the greatest amount of smoking among a host of shows popular among young people.

According to the campaign, the show had a 44% increase in smoking depictions from the first season from 182 to 262. In response to the report, Netflix said in a statement that they will be more careful about depicting smoking.

“Netflix strongly supports artistic expression,” a company spokesman said in the statement. “We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people.”

The company also said all new shows with TV-14 ratings or below, and all films of PG-13 or below, will exclude smoking and e-cigarette use except for “reasons of historical or factual accuracy.” In addition, new projects with higher ratings won’t show such unless “it’s essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it’s character-defining (historically or culturally important).”

Netflix will also offer information about smoking in its ratings for shows.