Update May 21, 2022: Netflix has decided to cut the wokeness out of their company. The Daily Mail reports, “Netflix’s recent axing of 290 staff targeted many of the firm’s wokest workers who are prolific social justice warriors on social media, it has been claimed.
The struggling streaming service has pulled the plug on several projects that were aimed at discussing race and LGBTQ issues, Variety reported, and axed the diverse employees working on and promoting them.
A total of 150 recruitment workers were fired, as well as another 70 animators, and 70 contractors working on promotional materials for the firm including social media and publishing.”
Netflix has finally had enough of the tail wagging the dog. Over the past year or so, leftwing radicals employed by the video streaming service have tried to censor programming or support “perverse” movies produced by the online movie channel.
In October 2021, however, internal tensions rose at the tech company when as employees challenged executives by accusing them of “facilitating the spread of hate speech and perhaps inciting violence.” The New York Times reported, “At the center of the unrest is “The Closer,” the much-anticipated special from the Emmy-winning comedian Dave Chappelle, which debuted on Oct. 5 and was the fourth-most-watched program on Netflix in the United States on Thursday. In the show, Mr. Chappelle comments mockingly on transgender people and aligns himself with the author J.K. Rowling as “Team TERF,” an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, a term used for a group of people who argue that a transgender woman’s biological sex determines her gender and can’t be changed.”
Times change, and so do stock prices. Netflix leaders have come to realize the validity of the saying, “if you go woke, you will go broke” and recognize that wokesters within the company are likely hurting their creative offerings and bottom line. In April, the company lost roughly $54.4 billion in value overnight. Variety called it “the largest single-day decline in its history.” When the internal protests began, Netflix’s stock price was over $640. Today it sits below $200. During the first quarter of the year, Netflix lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers.
The executives have finally said enough is enough and have finally taken on the would-be censors in its midst. In a company-wide memo, managers let the woke activists know they’re free to work elsewhere if they please.
The Wrap summarized the document, which can be found in full at this link. The reference appears to be in response to Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special, “The Closer,” which prompted LGBTQ employees and supporters to walk out in protest over his anti-trans and homophobic jokes. At the time, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos sided with Chappelle and now he’s doubled down by telling employees that if anyone is going anywhere, it should be them.
As various outlets have reported, the Netflix Culture memo includes a new section called ‘Artistic Expression,’ which declares the streamer will not ‘censor specific artists or voices’ even if employees consider the content’ harmful.’
‘Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service,’ the Artistic Expression section states. ‘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.’
The section concludes that employees’ ‘personal values’ about what they consider ‘harmful’ will not be taken into consideration: ‘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 appears that business leaders are beginning to understand that wokeness is a luxury item for their activist staff, who are usually the ones yelling the loudest but aren’t representative of the group as a whole. It isn’t vital to making their companies succeed, especially in an economic downturn or period of stagflation.
Elon Musk, who has taken the mantle of defending the freedom of expression, commended Netflix for taking a stand and writing the memo. He previously said, “The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable.” In an interview earlier in the year with the satire site The Babylon Bee, the billionaire said the “woke mind virus” is “a world without humor” and “arguably one of the greatest threats to modern civilization.”
Netflix recently announced a new, forthcoming season of its hit series Black Mirror. The company also announced the release of the movie Spiderhead, featuring Chris Hemsworth of Marvel’s Avengers and upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder fame, on June 17. Polygon reported the film is “based on a short story by George Saunders and comes from director Joseph Kosinski, director of Top Gun: Maverick, with a script created by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick, the writers of Deadpool and Zombieland.