Netflix employees should leave the company if they take issue with its programming, the streaming giant has said in an internal memo obtained ahead of its publication this week.
Within the platform’s ‘Artistic Expression’ section of its corporate culture memo, which was due to be shared publicly on Thursday (May 19) although was obtained in advance by Variety, employees are advised that they should leave the company if they’re offended by the streamer’s “content breadth”.
The anti-censorship drive comes months after Netflix aired Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special The Closer, which prompted LGBTQ+ employees and supporters to walk out in protest over his transphobic and homophobic jokes.
At the time Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended Chappelle, saying: “We don’t allow Netflix titles that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line.”
Now, the ‘Artistic Expression’ of Netflix’s updated memo states: “Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service.
“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.
It continued: “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.”
Netflix has yet to comment on stories reporting the memo, which has been updated for the first time in nearly five years.
According to the streamer, as Variety points out, everyone in the company was able to view and comment on proposed updates to the culture memo in a shared document. Thousands of employees participated in process, which took place over six months.