Parenting

Netflix Is Prodding My Kids to Watch R-Rated Movies

(Getty Images)

My kids get very little screen time. Unless they’re sick or it’s for homework, they aren’t allowed screen time during the week. On the weekend, with the occasional exception, they get two hours a day. So, when they do get screen time, they make the most of it. To their surprise, they found a whole host of new movies and shows rated “R” and “Mature” being recommended to them by Netflix this morning.

Walking by the room, I heard my wife ask my daughter the rhetorical question, “Why is Netflix recommending R-rated movies to you?”

I poked my head in, and the first thing I noticed was Netflix’s recommendation to my two young kids that they watch Ozark.

I haven’t watched Ozark because I have a rule about watching movies and shows that contain nudity: I don’t watch them. Whenever I see a trailer for a movie or show that I find interesting, before hitting “play” I check out IMDB’s Parents Guide. Months ago, I checked out the Parents Guide for Ozark. Here’s what it says:

This series deals with significant sexual content including adultery, strip clubs, prostitution, sex with a minor, and sex between minors. There is significant nudity in multiple episodes including bare breasts and naked butts. Amateur porn with detailed sexual actions is shown in multiple episodes including the first episode.

Even without the sex and nudity, Ozark would be incredibly unsuitable for children due to the amount of profanity, graphic violence, drug use, and mature thematic elements. Yet, Netflix’s algorithms thought that Ozark might be a show that my two young children would enjoy watching. However, the recommendation of Ozark wasn’t the worst one. That belongs to Sabrina.

No matter how much Netflix might want my kids to watch Ozark, I highly doubt they would be interested in it. Sabrina, on the other hand, is the type of show that would appeal to them, which makes the recommendation worse, even though Sabrina‘s content isn’t nearly as bad as Ozark‘s.

Much has been written elsewhere about Sabrina‘s inappropriateness for children. The Parents Guide on IMDB says of the show, “Every episode has some kissing. Gay sex scene implied. Orgy sex scene implied. Side view of Sabrina stepping out of a tub.” Examples of violence, gore, and profanity are included in the guide, too. While it’s only rated TV-14, it’s hard to make a case that Sabrina is appropriate for anyone to watch. What I think we can all agree on, though, is that Netflix should not be recommending the show to kids who are under 14.

I only listed two examples of the inappropriate shows Netflix is recommending to my children. Almost the entirety of the recommendations, though, are movies and shows rated R and Mature. Thankfully, my wife and I ride strict herd over our kids’ screen time. It’s not wise for parents to turn their children loose with devices unsupervised. Netflix does not care about the well-being and safety of children.