Netflix is taking a firm stance against efforts by its own employees to silence artistic expression and warned woke members of the company offended by the content it produces to find a job elsewhere if they don’t like it — advising workers that Netflix offers a “diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values.”
This week, Netflix released a corporate culture memo, which was published in large part due to the backlash it received from its own workers for broadcasting Dave Chappelle’s controversial special, which some employees complained about and staged protests about its so-called “transphobia.”
Variety reported that the updated Netflix culture memo now includes a section headed “Artistic Expression,” which states that the company refuses to “censor specific artists or voices” even if employees consider the content “harmful.”
The memo states that employees may be required to work on projects that they “perceive to be harmful” and that if they cannot accept their assignments, they should consider employment elsewhere.
“Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and points of view. So we offer a wide variety of TV shows and movies, some of which can be provocative,” the section states. ”We support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with” and “we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.”
The section states, “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.”
In addition to the Artistic Expression verbiage, the memo adds three other new sections: “Ethical Expectations” (which says in part, “we act honorably, even when no one is looking” and “We expect all employees to protect confidential company information, whether or not it is marked ‘confidential’”); “Representation Matters” (“Our members want to see a variety of stories and people on screen — and our company and leadership should reflect that diversity”); and “Employees Direct Our Philanthropy” (documenting that when an employee donates to a charity, Netflix donates double that amount to the same group).
Netflix has updated its culture memo to include a section called “artistic expression,” which appears to be a response to the criticism around Dave Chappelle’s specials. https://t.co/yRjd89Xwvq pic.twitter.com/flsvMNYDvP
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) May 12, 2022
Netflix’s move to fight back against woke culture within its own ranks comes as the company announced that it was canceling its deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were set to produce a woke children’s cartoon. The company also laid off several employees at the woke fansite Tudum only months after hiring them, prompting complaints from the affected workers.
Last October, Netflix fired a transgender employee responsible for leaking sensitive company data on the Chappelle special to the media. The employee, who led the pro-transgender group that planned to perform a company-wide walkout over the controversial comedian, was fired for leaking confidential metrics.