Leftists get their wokeuppance from Netflix
No one expected pushback against cancel culture in Hollywood until it happened.
Employees at Netflix received a bombshell memo from the top brass inviting company personnel who feel "triggered" by programming that might offend their leftist sensibilities to leave.
The crackdown was launched in a "culture memo" heading off further protests against programming deemed "harmful" by several vociferous employees, many of whom have attempted to silence comedian Dave Chappelle, who has a penchant to make sex-related jokes, not sparing the transgender community. "Scorching new material" was the teaser promoting Chappelle's popular special Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & the Bird Revelation. The promise of "tough love" was included in the buildup. Chappelle's popularity has prompted Netflix to stay the course, having had tremendous success with the comedian's other shows, including the aptly named Dave Chappelle: Sticks and Stones.
Apparently, the poison of "wokeness" has come to a point where Netflix's top executives are no longer intimidated by being on the wrong side of a political argument.
Details in the memo suggest that more than one voice — other than defamatory judgments — will be heard in the boardroom.
Employees received a further warning that the world's most watched subscription streaming service "will not censor specific artists and voices." If that wasn't enough, the guidelines left nothing to the imagination, even suggesting those employees who found the material "harmful" to work on may conclude that the firm is not the right place for them.
Taking such a firm stand may also have something to do with the company facing its worst financial collapse on Wall Street since it was established in 1997. Bean-counters at the company know that business will not be conducted as usual with massive spending outlays: the company stock cratered from 700 at year high to a shocking 162 at year low, losing an unprecedented $50 billion in revenue.
Many of Netflix's 12,000 employees might have finished reading the not so subtle "Culture Memo" thinking top management could have renamed the guidelines with the H.R. message: "Your Job May Not Be Safe."
More importantly, the "woke wars" are giving way to where the few no longer dictate to the many.
Preaching at viewers over issues of race or sermonizing about "non-binary" sex roles appears to be getting old for many of the company's subscribers — if not downright nauseatingly repetitive.
More than one "Alt-Left" title is undergoing "review."
It is hardly a coincidence the largest film and TV streaming library decided to ax Meghan Markle's (excuse me — the Duchess of Montecito's) cartoon series about a little girl discovering how women have empowered themselves. This theme may have been more relevant in the 1960s.
Aren't women already empowered to enter any field, occupy any office, and traverse any trail? Hillary Clinton made the mistake of harping on the "glass ceiling" theme, and where did it get her? She even rented the symbolic glass-ceiling Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan as the perfect venue to deliver her presidential victory address.
Undoubtedly, today's CEOs may wish to take notes from the most financially successful executive in the history of corporate America: Steve Jobs. He made a point of steering clear of politics. Becoming overly political, Jobs knew, never paid dividends in the consumer world.
Perhaps Reed Hastings, chairman and co-CEO of Netflix, is catching on to that fact and is refusing to allow his "progressive" employees to push him into a political quagmire from which a CEO may never emerge. After all, things didn't go too well for Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who allowed a small faction of his employees to bully him into weighing in on local politics. (He obliged the LGBTQ + community to oppose Gov. Ron DeSantis's legislation designed to protect children — starting in kindergarten through third grade — from sex-related topics.)
Hastings is doing what any smart executive would do: he is making it official policy to "let viewers decide what's appropriate for them" and enabling members to make informed choices with ratings and content warnings.
That would preclude Netflix employees from exerting dictatorial "approval" — which arguably could parallel aspects of the Stalinist regime, where the loudest ideologues wielded total power and had tight control over all "state-sanctioned" artistic formats. Of course, those approved works of "art" had to be "understood by the masses" and extol the virtues of the party line.
The LGBTQ+ community operates under a different party line, but the dangerous intent remains the same.