Netflix is looking to cleanse their system of tobacco.
Gone are the days in which cigarettes are flaunted and smoked with regularity in mass media. Though days of yore featured cigarette use to an almost comical degree, many companies have since moved to omit the act of smoking altogether. Yet Netflix recently found themselves on the receiving end of some backlash (who doesn't get a little backlash these days?) after Stranger Things season two was revealed to be one of the most smoke-heavy series to date.
According to a report from Variety, the second season featured more smoking than any other show, prompting concerned parents to wring their hands in fear. After all, the youths are watching that show, and we all know how impressionable they can be. First gangsta rap, then Grand Theft Auto 3, and now Stranger Things season 2 - the moral decay of our society comes in an interesting package. Yet Netflix has proven that the expression "where there's smoke there's fire" can operate on a variety of accurate levels, and have since responded to the backlash.
From this point forward, they vow to omit smoking entirely from all shows rated PG-13/TV-14 and lower, as well as from their higher-rated programs, presumably counting Stranger Things among them. Can we expect a subplot in which Jim Hopper battles a nicotine addiction? Only time will tell. Variety also shared a statement from a Netflix spokesman regarding the announcement, reading as follows: “Netflix strongly supports artistic expression We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people.”
Is Netflix doing the right thing, or is this simply a case of art imitating life?