“Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”
In the first quarter of 2022, Netflix announced they’d lost 200,000 subscribers, the first time the company had reported such a quarterly loss in a ten years. It has also projected a loss of two million subscribers in the second quarter.
Though the company cited, among other things, “increased competition and password-sharing” as well as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which prompted Netflix to pull its services from Russia, as reasons for the subscriber decline, some including presumptive future Twitter owner Elon Musk have suggested the streaming service’s downward spiral is happening in part due to their tendency to air “woke” programming which is, to put it mildly, not entertaining.
Perhaps in acknowledgment of that possibility, as well as in the aftermath of all the backlash they’ve received over the last couple of years from wokesters over the popular Dave Chappelle comedy specials – which Netflix has stood behind – the company has recently updated their “Culture Memo” to warn employees who might be sensitive to the subject matter of projects they could be assigned to that “Netflix may not be the best place for you” if they can’t or won’t commit to working on them.
From the section on “Artistic Expression”:
Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and points of view. So we offer a wide variety of TV shows and movies, some of which can be provocative. To help members make informed choices about what to watch, we offer ratings, content warnings and easy to use parental controls.
Not everyone will like—or agree with—everything on our service. While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.
As employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values. Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.
Author, healthcare entrepreneur, and political commentator Vivek Ramaswamy suggested in response that the “currents are changing”:
The currents are changing.
Netflix says it stands for artistic expression and that employees who don’t want to work on content they find offensive can work somewhere else. And they reportedly fired the employee who led the trans “walkout protest” earlier this year. https://t.co/6x8Jd5ut9M
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) May 13, 2022
He might be right. In addition to the Netflix memo, the CEO of Sony Playstation – Jim Ryan – reportedly caused woke employees to “fume” last week after he sent an email urging them to “respect differences of opinion” in the debate over Roe v. Wade:
In the email seen by Bloomberg, PlayStation president Jim Ryan didn’t take a stance on abortion rights, instead writing that the company and its community are “multi-faceted and diverse, holding many different points of view.” He wrote that “we owe it to each other and to PlayStation’s millions of users to respect differences of opinion among everyone in our internal and external communities. Respect does not equal agreement. But it is fundamental to who we are as a company and as a valued global brand.”
Ryan then went on to write that he “would like to share something lighthearted to help inspire everyone to be mindful of having balance that can help ease the stress of uncertain world events,” saying it was recently his two cats’ first birthday and elaborating over the next few paragraphs about his cats’ birthday cakes, their noises and his desire to one day get a dog.
Ryan’s email came just a day after the Washington Post – a key pusher of Democrat/pro-abortion narratives in the aftermath of the leaked Supreme Court draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito – complained in a “straight news” report that the video game industry was staying “mostly silent” rather than weigh in on the debate, a position PR firm Zeno Group is said to be advising its corporate clients to take as well.
If the currents are indeed changing, it is long overdue. But as the old saying goes, better late than never.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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