Saturday, May 14, 2022

Netflix asks ‘bright’ employees to stop if they’re offended and supports Dave Chappelle’s trans jokes

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Chappelle is one of the cast members who faced backlash for his performance in The Closer

Netflix has called out woke employees trying to quash artists like Dave Chappelle. The streaming giant has issued a new “cultural memo” saying employees who are upset about the streaming content can leave the company.

Chappelle is one of the cast members who faced backlash for his performance in The Closer, which erupted in an uproar at the company last October. It was withdrawn when some Awakened activists said it contained transphobic and homophobic themes. In his stand-up special, he declared that “gender is a fact” and blasted the “thin skin” of the trans community. The jokes were inspired by statements by Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who said in 2019 that trans people are not real women and pose a threat to their identity. However, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos backed Chappelle and continued to air the show, prompting a mass exodus of awakened employees. Young activists have targeted comedian Dave Chappelle for making jokes about transgender people with the goal of firing him. With their recent statement “Netflix Culture – Seeking Excellence,” Netflix seemed to finally put an end to this outcry. The memo, which was emailed to staff on Thursday, May 12.


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New guidelines

This is the first time in five years that the culture guide has been updated, formerly known simply as “Netflix culture”. However, it retains the basic concepts of the original statement, including an emphasis on strengthening employee decision-making and encouraging open criticism. Netflix appears to be taking a tough stance on anyone trying to quash artistic works.

Netflix claims that a shared document allowed all of its employees to read and submit suggestions for the new culture memo. It comes as the company is put through its paces, with significant cash losses and a major flight of viewers to competitors. Even though staff believe the information is “harmful,” bosses have stressed they would not quash individual artists or prospects. As the company’s economy deteriorated, the newspaper urged employees to tighten their belts and curb company spending. Over the past year, the ailing service has lost millions of viewers as rivals Amazon, Disney and Apple gain traction. Although there was a minor recovery to $174 in premarket trading, shares have tumbled over the past six months, falling from over $700 to as low as $166 yesterday. Meanwhile, the company has been at odds with itself over the dissemination of information some awakened employees believe to be dangerous.

A new section has been added to Artistic Expression which reads: “Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and perspectives.”
“That’s why we offer a wide variety of TV shows and movies, some of which can be provocative.”
“To help members make informed decisions about what to watch, we offer ratings, content alerts, and easy-to-use parental controls.”
“Not everyone will like our service – or agree with it.”
“Although each title is different, we approach them based on the same principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we work with; we program for a variety of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers choose what’s appropriate for them, as opposed to Netflix censoring specific artists or voices.”

It continued, “As employees, we support the principle that Netflix offers story diversity, even if we find some titles run counter to our own personal values. Depending on your role, you may have to work on titles that you find harmful. If you’re having a hard time supporting our breadth of content, Netflix may not be the best place for you.” Ethical expectations, representation issues and “employees guide our philanthropy” are some of the other areas that have been introduced.

As it struggles to shake off an unexpectedly dismal first quarter, Netflix has accelerated plans to introduce a cheaper, ad-supported option for subscribers considering exiting the streaming service. Netflix announced in April that it had lost 200,000 customers in the first three months of the year, its first drop in a decade and a drastic reversal of its goal of adding 2.5 million users. They forecast they would lose another two million in the second quarter, and the stock price plummeted, erasing about $70 billion from the company’s market valuation.

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