Far too often we find ourselves in this position, but Michael Paull and his team at Disney+ do not seem to want us to have respite. It gives us no pleasure whatsoever to report that yet again Disney+ has dipped back into their catalog and retroactively censored content that had already been streaming. The latest victim is Jim Henson’s classic family sitcom, Dinosaurs, which aired on ABC from 1991 – 1994. When Disney+ added the highly requested Dinosaurs series on January 29. 2021 fans were thrilled to relive the 90s gem in all its glory. Unfortunately, that is no longer possible.
Little did anyone expect that a whopping 19 months later Disney’s toxic S&P department would login and remove the Season 2 episode “A New Leaf.” Why would this episode be “banned?” Well, it was a “very special episode” that dealt with drugs. Of course it was a positive message / Public Service Announcement” don’t do drugs! Doesn’t matter to Disney. This is obviously an unacceptable decision on their part, but is it surprising? No! Since launch they have been altering the content they stream and disrespecting the “over half of adults without children” who subscribe.
Bob Chapek has constantly reiterated this statistic for over a year and half (!) while his team has actively ignored it! Disney+’s idea of “content for adults” has been to add a handful of ESPN’s 30 for 30 sports documentary library each month. If you don’t like sports, we suggest you subscribe to Paramount+, HBO Max, or Netflix where you’ll be provided content that is made for you and not censored by lunatics with a red stamp. Were you hoping to see Lizzie McGuire? Good news, Paramount+ did something like that called iCarly and it’s been a big hit for them.
Every few months we’re back in this position writing about how Disney has constantly undermined their own parental controls and the agency of their subscribers through gatekeeping tactics. Disney+ unlocked full parental controls in March 2022, but has not utilized them at all. Instead of respecting adults, they have exclusively used this new “feature” to stream 3 Marvel Rated R films and 6 Marvel TV-MA series. All of this content is more offensive and unsafe for children to view than this particular episode of the Dinosaurs, but of course it’s okay because it’s “Marvel.”
Nevermind that these mature Marvel titles are only available to people whose parental controls allow it. Dinosaurs is rated TV-PG which similarly means children would not be able to view the episode on a kids profile, but as Disney has shown over and over again, they don’t care about that. They’ll find any excuse to make decisions on behalf of parents and subscribers as to what is appropriate. Bluey has seen numerous episodes banned for the most ridiculous reasons you can imagine. What’s okay for a preschooler in Australia is apparently not the same as one in USA…
We all knew immediately how meaningless Disney+’s new parental controls were when they opted to forego a content drop of general entertainment to accompany them and even leave all existing censorship that they’d received negative press about for years in place. Their false advertisement promo (below) they reworked from the Star brand tile launch that brought ~500 new general entertainment titles to Disney+ worldwide (except USA / Latin America) promised “more mature dramas, laughs, thrills, and surprises.” This was a disgusting example of Disney+ lying to to their customers and misleading potential subscribers. What really happened was 6 Marvel shows. Then nothing until half a year later they added 3 Marvel movies. Not to downplay Deadpool or Jessica Jones, but we’re all still waiting on the thrills, dramas, and laughs that were supposed to “coming.”
Their blatantly sexist censorship of 2 titles present since launch remains unaltered, even as they continuously brag about the amount of “adults” subscribed and open up full range of parental controls worldwide. Adventures in Babysitting’s most iconic line remains sanitized, even as Disney licensed the uncensored version of the film to stream for free on YouTube a few months back. Elisabeth Shue’s utterance of the “F-word” changes to “fool” on Disney+, even under adult profiles, while the men in the X-Men movies are uncensored when they speak it.
Hugh Jackman’s bare ass is on full display in X-Men Days of Future Past, but Daryl Hannah’s is horrendously CGI’d over with “hair” in Splash and Bart Simpson’s animated penis is uncensored in The Simpsons Movie. As with Adventures in Babysitting, Splash was licensed out this year to YouTube and completely uncensored. Even award-winning documentary Free Solo has its f-bomb bleeped. A major streaming service with Rated R capability won’t even allow the man hanging off the side of a mountain, at risk of death, to say “f—.” 😲
Disney+, you are the worst streaming service in America when it comes to this. Why is this a badge of honor to you?
Shame on you, Disney+, Bob Chapek, Kareem Daniel, Michael Paull, and everyone responsible for this continued gatekeeping and censorship bullshit.
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.