Netflix’s scathing note to angry staff

In light of internal dissent due to productions such as Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special, Netflix has reportedly issued a missive to its disgruntled staffers, underscoring that the streaming company values the “artistic expression” of its content creators over each employee’s personal thoughts, beliefs and lifestyles, reported New York Post.“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,” the memo, titled “Netflix Culture — Seeking Excellence”, said.“Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful,” the communique continued. “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”The note, dispatched Thursday, follows ongoing personnel protests of Chappelle’s barbs against transgender individuals in the Netflix special The Closer, which debuted on the digital platform in October. During his hour-long show, Chappelle, 48, fired off a string of controversial remarks about trans women’s genitalia, insisted that “gender is a fact” and deemed the LGBTQ+ community “too sensitive.”Shortly after the show’s premiere, angry Netflix staff members staged a walkout in an effort to demonstrate their collective disapproval of the comedian’s digs. But the mutiny failed to sway Netflix co-chief executive Ted Sarandos, who maintained his support of Chappelle and continued to air the special. As a warning to any remaining discontented cogs, the company’s freshly distributed letter underlined its commitment to prioritising artistic expression. “Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and points of view,” stated the lengthy proclamation. “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,” it added, “we offer ratings, content warnings and easy to use parental controls.”Although the streaming giant acknowledged that its content may be problematic for some viewers, it remains firm that it will not silence the voices of its artists. “Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service,” Netflix said in the memo. “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.” Netflix — which suffered a loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, and expects to see an additional churn of 2 million more over the next four months — also urged employees to “spend our members’ money wisely” in the “Valued Behaviours” section of the document. Elsewhere, the newsletter reminded its staff that the company does not intend to treat workers like “family” members but rather like lion-hearted sportsmen on an award-winning athletic “dream team” — one on which any player can easily be benched or booted. “We model ourselves on being a professional sports team, not a family,” Netflix wrote. “A family is about unconditional love. A dream team is about pushing yourself to be the best possible teammate, caring intensely about your team, and knowing that you may not be on the team forever.”The bulletin also reminded peeved employees, “Dream teams are not right for everyone.”The company closed its advisory with a summary of what makes Netflix a “special” place to work, noting its mission to “encourage decision-making by employees, share information openly, broadly, and deliberately, communicate candidly and directly and keep only our highly effective people.”This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced here with permission

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