The streaming giant Netflix inserted an anti-censorship section into its newly-revised company culture memo that has largely been interpreted as a warning to the company's vocally woke minority. It comes months after employees launched a woke #NetflixWalkout to protest Dave Chappelle.
In the updated Netflix Culture memo includes a new "Artistic Expression" section that explained the streaming platform will not "censor specific artists or voices" that certain employees might consider "harmful."
"If you'd find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you," the memo bluntly told employees.
The memo further went on to say that the company will seek to appeal to a broad range of tastes across various different spectrums.
"Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and points of view," it said. "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."
Noting that people will disagree with their content decisions, Netflix said it will approach each title with the same 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," the company declared.
"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," it concluded.
As noted by Variety , the Artistic Expression portion has been interpreted as a "response to the controversy over Dave Chappelle's ' The Closer' that embroiled Netflix last fall over what critics said were his transphobic and homophobic comments in the stand-up special."
Woke Netflix employees protested outside corporate offices last October to protest Chappelle's comedy special.
“It is our purpose that we hold these places accountable,” says Neverending Nina at the #NetflixWalkout . “How can you house queer narratives, queer movies and all the things that uplift us, but then turn around and provide space to harm us?” https://t.co/OsrDv4QD1O pic.twitter.com/ra6Qb5ogHH
— Variety (@Variety) October 20, 2021
In another section, Netflix addressed the company's fiscal issues after suffering a first-quarter loss last month as shares closed down more than 35 percent with a projected loss of 2 million global subscribers in the second quarter alone. In the past memo, Netflix put virtually no cap on spending, but the new memo eliminated this one section: "There are virtually no spending controls and few contract signing controls. Each employee is expected to seek advice and perspective as appropriate. 'Use good judgment' is our core precept."
The new memo cut this section about employee pay cuts as well: "Note that if our company experienced financial difficulty, we wouldn't ask our employees to accept less pay. A sports team with a losing record still pays top of personal market for the players they hope will get them back into a winning position. On the other hand, if the company does well, our broadly distributed stock options become quite valuable."
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