Billionaire entrepreneur and Tesla boss Elon Musk has hailed a recent policy move by Netflix. While replying to a tweet by author Tom Fitton, Musk wrote, “Good move by Netflix.” Fitton shared the link to a Wall Street Journal article on Netflix’s updated culture guidelines and wrote, “Netflix Inc. has a new message for its employees: Be prepared to work on content you may not agree with. And if you don’t like that, you can quit.--- Elon Musk seems to be having an impact beyond Twitter.”
As per Netflix’s updated culture guidelines, employees can leave the company if they are not comfortable with the subjects or titles they are told to work on. It further said that Netflix as a platform supports the artistic expression of creators that work with them and let viewers decide what they want to watch.
It said in a section called artistic expression, “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.”
The updated culture guidelines also noted, “While every title if 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 and others have faced pressure from employees, shareholders and politicians on how they react to cultural and political issues.
Netflix supported Dave Chapelle after his stand-up special – The Closer-- was panned for remarks on the transgender community, which were deemed offensive by some. Protests took place outside Netflix’s Los Angeles offices. Protestors sought the removal of the special from Netflix, to which the streaming giant did not comply.
The streaming giant reported dismal earnings and acknowledged loss of subscribers in the first quarter. The streaming platform ended March quarter with 221.6 million subscribers, a fall of 2 lakh subscribers in the January-March period. It also projected a loss of 2 million subscribers in the next quarter against the addition of 1.5 million subscribers in the year-ago period.
The company attributed the loss of subscribers to the COVID-19 crisis, Russia-Ukraine war, account sharing, uptake of connected TVs, adoption of on-demand entertainment and data costs. It said, “In the near term though, we’re not growing revenue as fast as we’d like. COVID clouded the picture by significantly increasing our growth in 2020, leading us to believe that most of our slowing growth in 2021 was due to the COVID pull forward. Now, we believe there are four main inter-related factors at work.”
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