Part of the appeal of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and other streaming services is that content restrictions inherent to broadcast stations don’t apply to streaming. Of course, not everyone is pleased with that fact, including a non-profit organization known as The Truth Initiative.
Washington Post has the news on criticism that’s being leveled on Netflix.
And, it turns out, among the vices often embraced by streaming services and avoided by broadcast television is tobacco in all in its forms — which Netflix is being called out for.
The Truth Initiative — the nonprofit anti-tobacco organization — released a study that compared seven popular Netflix shows to seven popular broadcast shows. In this sample it found Netflix’s shows featured characters smoking almost three times as often as those produced by broadcast networks like NBC, ABC and CBS.
While the group is focused on calling out Netflix for allegedly promoting smoking, the streaming giant has also faced criticism for the preponderance of cursing, sex, and violence in certain content offerings. The non-profit contends that Netflix shows that feature smokers could lead to a rise in tobacco use. A Netflix representative offered up some thoughts on the group’s findings in a chat with Variety.
“While streaming entertainment is more popular than ever, we’re glad that smoking is not. We’re interested to find out more about the study,” the rep said in part.
Netflix, Inc. shares rose $0.42 (+0.13%) in premarket trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, NFLX has gained 63.30%, versus a 1.36% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.