Netflix 'Culture' Memo Encourages Employees 'Offended' By Their Content To Leave

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
The Netflix loading screen on a TV in a dark room, backlit with red light.
Unsplash | Thibault Penin

The past year or so has consisted of a fair bit of controversy for streaming giant Netflix. They had a number of high points over the pandemic, but recently have seen record losses in memberships and backlash regarding certain content.

A lengthy memo posted to the company's website details their views regarding the shows and movies they host as well as reactions to them, saying that if an employee doesn't agree with a certain production, Netflix "may not be the best place" for them.

A recent external Netflix memo seems to call out a certain portion of their employees.

A shot of the Netflix headquarters building and the company's logo fixed at the top.
Unsplash | Venti Views

The memo, titled "Netflix Culture — Seeking Excellence", places a lot of emphasis on artistic expression, diversity of content, and employees being vocal when they disagree with something, saying, "If an employee disagrees on an important open issue, it is their responsibility to explain why, ideally in person and in writing."

The memo seems a bit pointed given some of the company's recent criticisms.

A photo of Dave Chapelle from the chest up where he's leaning forward slightly and looking to the right.
Getty | Sean Rayford

Namely the employee walkout that happened in protest of Dave Chappelle's most recent comedy special The Closer, in which he made a number of controversial comments about the LGBTQ+ community.

It essentially states that those opposed to content they're working on are welcome to leave.

A man holding an iPad with the Netflix loading screen on it.
Unsplash | CardMapr

"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," it reads, "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 outwardly prides itself on its variety of content.

The Netflix home screen on a laptop.
Unsplash | charlesdeluvio

"Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and points of view. So we offer a wide variety of TV shows and movies, some of which can be provocative.”

"Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service."

The Netflix app store page pulled up on an iPad.
Unsplash | Souvik Banerjee

"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," they declare.

This is in line with the company's previous statements on the subject of controversial content.

Dave Chappelle standing on a stage in a black suit, smiling with one hand over his heart.
Getty | Evelyn Hockstein

When initially receiving criticism for Chappelle's special, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote in an internal memo that the program didn't cross "the line on hate" and would remain available to stream.

An opinion that's shared in this memo, though vaguely.

The Netflix loading screen on a TV in a dark room, backlit with red light.
Unsplash | Thibault Penin

Another section explains how Netflix models themselves "on being a professional sports team, not a family", saying a family is about unconditional love while a dream team is about pushing oneself to be the best they can be.

They then say, "Dream teams are not right for everyone."

h/t: New York Post