Elon Musk praises Netflix for saying employees should quit

Last week, Mr Musk hypothesised that Netflix’s fall in subscribers was because ‘the woke mind virus is making [it] unwatchable’

Adam Smith
Monday 16 May 2022 11:36 BST
(AFP via Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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Elon Musk has praised Netflix for its new company culture guidelines despite previously criticizing the company for spreading a “woke mind virus”.

Netflix had recently updated its company culture guidelines to include a new section titled "Artistic Expression." It is the first time such a change has been made in five years.

“Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and points of view”, the policy 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.

“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.”

The change comes after criticism of the company for working with Dave Chapelle on four comedy specials. Many viewers described his jokes as transphobic.

In 2021, Netflix suspended a transgender employee who spoke out against Mr Chappelle’s special The Closer on Twitter.

In response to the changing policy, Mr Musk tweeted: “Good move by @netflix”. Mr Musk has also been criticised for firing people who speak out against him.

Last week, Mr Musk hypothesised that Netflix’s fall in subscribers was because its content was too “woke.” The multibillionaire said that “the woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable”.

Replying to one account that claimed videogames and television was “infested with current year trend woke garbage for fear offending a green haired freak”, Mr Musk agreed, and said: “Can they please just make sci-fi/fantasy at least *mostly* about sci-fi/fantasy?”

Elon Musk’s views on speech are under scrutiny as the billionaire is set to buy Twitter for $44 billion with the apparent intention of running it on as an absolutist free speech platform. Mr Musk has repeatedly claimed the company has a left-wing bias without evidence.

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