Netflix, the digital streaming platform, has updated its new company culture guidelines for its employees, sending a message that they may resign if they do not want to work on content they have not approved.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the updated section of the employee guidelines stated, “Instead of Netflix censoring specific artists or voices, we’re letting viewers decide what’s right for them.” The company said it would support offering content diversity even if some titles contain things that go against personal values.
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The message reads, “Depending on your role, you may need to work on topics that you think are harmful. If you’re struggling to support our content diversity, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”
A Netflix spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that it is updating its company culture guidelines for the first time since 2017. The spokesperson reported that Netflix has spent the last 18 months discussing cultural issues with its employees.
The spokesperson said the new directive aims to help them make more informed decisions about whether Netflix is the right company for them.
He also said that the platform gives employees the opportunity to provide feedback on changes, receives more than a thousand comments, which helps him define new guidelines.
Netflix and other companies have faced pressure from employees, shareholders and politicians over how they interact with cultural and political issues. Last year, Netflix backed comedian Dave Chappelle after he was attacked after jokes about transsexuals on his stand-up show. Netflix employees reacted to Chappelle for his transphobic jokes on ‘The Closer’ show.
Twitter employees have also expressed excitement and concern over the acquisition of the company by billionaire Elon Musk.
The Walt Disney Company has faced harsh criticism after initially remaining silent about new legislation on how to teach sex and sexual orientation in schools in Florida. After pressure from employees and critics, the company vowed to fight the law and stop political donations in the state. The Florida legislature has since canceled the company’s private tax liabilities.
Netflix, on the other hand, lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of the year compared to 2021.
Netflix announced that this loss is related to the difficulty of acquiring new subscribers in all regions of the world, in addition to the suspension of the service in Russia. “Covid significantly boosted our growth in 2020,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders, adding that they believe the slowing growth in 2021 is due to the progression of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company also announced that it is exploring offering a lower-priced, ad-supported version of the platform to help increase its subscriber base.