Inching toward a more mature (some could say “scandalous”) streaming service, Disney+ subscribers in the US were temporarily given not one but two 20th Century Studios films titled “Hot Shots” and “Hot Shots: Part Deux.” These movies have since been removed from the platform just days after adding them.
Starring the controversial Charlie Sheen, “Hot Shots” is a 1991 parody of “Top Gun.” Rated PG-13, the film not only has raunchy scenes in it, but there is also an F-word thrown in there and “scatological language.” While violent scenes aren’t out of the ordinary for Disney+, foul words are rare.
Another surprising and atypical title that was announced by mistake was the rated R film “Kiss of the Dragon,” which will be released in Canada instead. The movie features Jet Li as a Chinese intelligence agent who joins forces with an American prostitute on a drug ring mission.
With the new parental controls, the service now has the freedom to have more adult-targeted films such as “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “Iron Fist,” “The Punisher” and “The Defenders.”
In addition, they’ve added “Free Guy,” “West Side Story” and “Blackish,” among other content that didn’t previously fit its five brands Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic or Disney.
Pixar’s “Turning Red” even got some harsh feedback for having a young girl experiencing, well, young girl things.
While this isn’t that unusual since its international brands Star and Star+ have “Die Hard,” “Only Murders in the Building” and “Dopesick,” as well as the R-rated “The King’s Man” and “The Last Duel, “the US brand was once squeaky clean.
All of this brings us to the question — will Disney+ become the new Hulu? It’s hard to tell, but it’s starting to become a possibility. Especially since former Disney CEO Bob Iger is no longer in the picture and Bob Chapek is running the ship. Executives even hinted at the idea that horror and thriller content is being considered for the family-friendly streaming service as well, which would be unheard of in 2020.
What is next for Disney+? If they are moving toward adult-focused content, will parents want to continue using the service anymore, even with the strict parental controls? And why doesn’t Disney+ just go all the way and consolidate with Hulu?
The conservative organization, the Parents Television and Media Council (PTC), has criticized these recent decisions, and they have cautioned the company against adding mature content, saying it would “destroy your brand.” The group also noted that Disney+ had marketed itself as a “family-friendly streaming service.”
Chapek and Disney+ seem to be set on adding more mature titles no matter what some worried parents may say. Whatever gets released on the service next, it’s going to be a big change no matter what.