Commentary

Liberal Netflix Caught Treating Black Subscribers Radically Different from White Ones

In case it has escaped your notice, Netflix, the world’s biggest online subscription video service, is a pretty progressive company.

In June Variety reported Netflix was loading up its entertainment lineup and board of directors with left-leaning personalities.

“In March, the streamer named Susan Rice — former national security adviser to President Obama, and a conservative target in the Benghazi scandal — to its board of directors. Last month, Netflix officially announced an exclusive multiyear deal with the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions for original programming. And last week, it premiered ‘The Break with Michelle Wolf’ — a late-night-style show from the comedian who delivered a blistering takedown of the Trump administration and other conservative politicos at the White House Correspondents Association dinner,” according to Variety.

The Michelle Wolfe series wasn’t destined to last, but just putting it on definitely proved Netflix’s liberal bona fides.

And that makes a news report about a marketing move by the streaming giant all the more remarkable.

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On Monday, Britain’s Sky News reported: “Netflix has been accused of ‘deceiving’ black subscribers with ‘manipulative’ promotional posters for films and TV shows that can change based on who is using the service.”

While Netflix has used algorithms to coordinate viewing preferences to visual personalized suggestions, the company has taken it a step farther by altering artwork to contain images of blacks for its black customers, according to Sky News.

Misleading to say the least.

Sky described the switch in marketing: “Among the films to have been highlighted are the comedy ‘Like Father,’ which stars Kelsey Grammer and Kristen Bell, and the British favourite ‘Love Actually.’

Do you think this marketing tactic is subtle racism?

“Rather than showcasing its two white leads, the poster for ‘Like Father’ instead suggests to some subscribers that there are major roles for African-American actors Blaire Brooks and Leonard Ouzts.

“And the art for ‘Love Actually’ – which features a predominantly white cast – seems to imply to certain users that it is a romance centred on characters played by Keira Knightley and Oscar-winning star Chiwetel Ejiofor.

“Brooks, Ouzts and Ejiofor each have relatively minor roles in the films.”

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Joy Joses, the founder and editor of MelanMag.com, an online lifestyle magazine aimed at “women of colour,” told Sky News the Netflix marketing is “beyond deceptive”.

“In their keenness to cater to black audiences, Netflix has overstepped the mark with this issue,” she said.

“Yes, when I’m scrolling through, looking for what to watch, I instinctively stop when I see black characters highlighted as the lead as that’s what I want to watch.

“Why don’t they give us more of what we want instead – black leads in big budget productions? In every other sphere, clear signage is the rule. Why should it be different with film and TV promotions?”

Netflix denied allegations that it targeted demographics in a statement, according the New York-based magazine The Fader:

“Reports that we look at demographics when personalizing artwork are untrue. We don’t ask members for their race, gender, or ethnicity so we cannot use this information to personalize their individual Netflix experience. The only information we use is a member’s viewing history. In terms of thumbnails, these do differ and regularly change. This is to ensure that the images we show people are useful in deciding which shows to watch.”

In a blog post in December, the company explained that its marketing images are derived from individual users’ preferences, not factors like their race.

“Let us consider trying to personalize the image we use to depict the movie Good Will Hunting,” the post stated. “Here we might personalize this decision based on how much a member prefers different genres and themes. Someone who has watched many romantic movies may be interested in Good Will Hunting if we show the artwork containing Matt Damon and Minnie Driver, whereas, a member who has watched many comedies might be drawn to the movie if we use the artwork containing Robin Williams, a well-known comedian.”

Maybe that’s true.

But there’s no denying Robin Williams had a pivotal role in “Good Will Hunting.” The choice to put him in a promotional poster is perfectly logical.

But the examples cited in the Sky News report are much different — pretending minor characters have major roles in movies simply on the basis of their race.

I don’t know how liberals rationalize their behavior. And with blatant moves like this, do they really believe they aren’t insulting a huge part of their following?

It’s a head-scratcher for sure. It will be interesting to see if Netflix hangs on to it No. 1 streaming service status for very long.

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An enthusiastic grassroots Tea Party activist, Lisa Payne-Naeger has spent the better part of the last decade lobbying for educational and family issues in her state legislature, and as a keyboard warrior hoping to help along the revolution that empowers the people to retake control of their, out-of-control, government.
Lisa Payne-Naeger is passionate about all things related to influencing the configuration of our culture … family, education, politics. She’s a former school board member, turned homeschooling mom. In her quest to raise and educate her now-adult children, she has pretty much navigated every challenge and road block possible. Crusading to make the world a better place for them has led her to scrutinize the politically correct directives that steer society.
Birthplace
St. Louis, MO
Nationality
American
Location
St. Louis, MO
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Family, Education, Homeschooling, Local Politics, Grassroots Activism




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