In light of internal dissension triggered by productions like Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special, Netflix has reportedly issued a memo to its disgruntled staffers, underscoring that the streaming behemoth values the “artistic expression” of its content creators over each employee’s personal thoughts, beliefs and lifestyles.
“Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful,” the communiqué 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 regarding transgender individuals in the Netflix special “The Closer,” which debuted on the digital platform in October.
During his hourlong chuckle fest, Chappelle, 48, fired off a string of wisecracks about trans women’s genitalia, insisted that “gender is a fact” and deemed the LGBTQ+ community “too sensitive.”
Shortly after the show’s premiere, vexed Netflix staff members staged a walkout in an effort to demonstrate their collective disapproval of the comedian’s digs.
And as a warning to any remaining discontented cogs, the company’s freshly distributed letter underlined its commitment to prioritizing 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.”
And 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,” said the broadcaster.
“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,” it emphasized.
Netflix — which suffered a loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, and expects to see an additional decrease of a whopping 2 million audience members over the next four months — also urged employees to “spend our members’ money wisely” in the “Valued Behaviors” section of the document.
“We model ourselves on being a professional sports team, not a family,” wrote Netflix. “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 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.”