‘Stranger Things’ star Gaten Matarazzo is hosting a show that pranks unemployed people

Matarazzo will host and produce a hidden-camera show that targets people looking for work

Netflix has responded after facing criticism for a new show that tricks people into thinking they’re starting a new job.

Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo has been announced as the host of Prank Encounters, which will see the teen star host what the streaming service calls a “terrifying and hilarious prank show”.

Matarazzo, who stars as Dustin in Stranger Things, will appear in the series and also act as an executive producer on the eight-episode show.

‘Stranger Things’ stars Millie Bobby Brown and Gaten Matarazzo

A Netflix representative initially said: “Each episode of this terrifying and hilarious prank show takes two complete strangers who each think they’re starting their first day at a new job.

“It’s business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares.”

But the show’s premise was also criticised online. Numerous people have taken to social media to slam the show before it’s even reached screens, labelling it “nasty” and capable of “creating real harm”.

One user wrote: “As someone who is currently unemployed, this just comes across as “unnecessarily cruel”.

Responding to the controversy, Netflix insists that the show does not exploit its subjects, who were paid for their time taking part.

In a statement issued to Metro following the backlash, a Netflix spokesperson said: “The pranks in Prank Encounters are spooky, supernatural, and over the top, and everyone had a great time.

“All participants came in with the expectation this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time.”

The show will launch later this year.