Netflix reaffirms its commitment to artistic freedom

For the first time in five years, Netflix updated its cultural memo on Thursday. The memo highlights the company’s commitment to artistic expression, even when that expression may cause “perceived” offense.

Variety obtained the Culture document from Netflix that updates sections and adds an Artistic Expression portion. In them, the company called on the company’s employees to accept “diversity of stories.”

“Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles that you perceive to be harmful. If you find it difficult to support the breadth of our content, Netflix may not be the best place for you,” Netflix told its current or prospective. employees.

This new section also calls on users to deal with the fact that some content may be objectionable to them. However, the streaming service clarified that content warnings and ratings help users navigate the platform for the content they want.

“Viewers have very different tastes and points of view. That’s why we offer a wide variety of TV shows and movies, some of which can be provocative,” says the new section.

“Not everyone will like, or agree with, everything on our service… 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 is appropriate for them,” the section adds.

The release of the memo comes after the controversies surrounding Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer”. In the special, Chappelle made jokes about the trans community that were objectionable.

Those jokes caused outrage as Netflix fought employee walkouts in protest of the comedian’s special. CEO Ted Sarandos vigorously defended Chappelle. The streaming service has repeatedly said that they refuse to censor or remove content regardless of offense or public outrage.

Updates to the document also included a new section on leaking company data, even when it’s not marked as sensitive. Last year, a Netflix employee leaked financial data to Bloomberg. The data compared the cost of Netflix’s world-famous thriller “Squid Game” and the Dave Chappelle special. He revealed that streamers paid more for Chappelle than for “Squid Game”.

The updated document also urged employees to “spend our members’ money wisely.” Netflix recently reported a decline in subscribers in the first quarter. That’s the first streaming service in over a decade.



the Netflix building in Los Angeles, California; a shareholder filed a class action lawsuit against the streaming company, which reported a drop in subscribers for the first three months of 2022
Photo: AFP / Robyn Beck

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