There’s a huge backlash against Stranger Things 3
It’s a shocking statistic that Stranger Things 1 had 182 ‘smoking incidents’ in its season, with the second season having an even higher number of offences. As part of report from an anti-smoking group, Netflix has pledged to kick cigarettes off its shows.
Anti-smoking group Truth Initiative released the report – in part showing the sheer magnitude of cigs that make it into the service’s shows.
“Netflix strongly supports artistic expression. We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people,” a spokesperson from Netflix told EW in a statement. “Going forward, all new projects that we commission with ratings of TV-14 or below for series or PG-13 or below for films, will be smoking and e-cigarette free — except for reasons of historical or factual accuracy.”
Of course in the 80s, around two thirds, if not a bit over, of people smoked, fast forward to now and it has dropped drastically. At what point does it go from historical representation of culture then to glorification?
“For new projects with higher ratings, there’ll be no smoking or e-cigarettes unless it’s essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it’s character-defining (historically or culturally important),” added the Netflix spokesperson. “In addition, starting later this year, smoking information will be included as part of our ratings on the Netflix service so our members can make informed choices about what they watch.”
The jury is out on this one for Stranger Things, surely Hopper’s smoking was character-defining in a way? It reinforced the idea he was a man on the blink that suffered from things like a smoking habit and alcoholism. Will’s mum also only pulled out the cigarettes in times of distress, reinforcing her neurotic nature at times and out of character behaviour.
Hopefully the shocking opening of Stranger Things 3 of Mike and El making out, won’t become a scene of them sharing cigarettes in season 4.