Netflix the streaming juggernaut for years has been under the accusation of pushing political agendas over entertainment. Each succession of shows becoming increasingly heavier with the progressive undertones with the best of them and the worst being openly politicized. In spite of this these accusation managed to draw their detractors.
The detractors from the left would issue a chorus of “if you don’t like it don’t watch it,” smugness content in their convergence being complete if they weren’t calling you some buzzword. Moderates from the right launched a bevy of arguments regarding the nature of business is to make a profit as if businesses were not extra legal top down ran entities.
After years of arguing back and forth Netflix finally settled the issue for everyone with admission that their goal is indeed to push a progressive agenda and to impact public discourse. Addressing the recent controversy where Netflix bent the knee to Saudi Arabia, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to The Hill came straight out and illustrated in no uncertain terms their point is to influence public discourse and spread progressivism.
“Well, we’re not in the news business. We’re not trying to do ‘truth to power,'” Hastings responded. “We’re trying to entertain. And we can pick fights with governments about newsy topics, or we can say, because the Saudi government lets us have us shows like “Sex Education,” that show a very liberal lifestyle, and show very provocative and important topics.”
“And so, we can accomplish a lot more by being entertainment, and influencing a global conversation about how people live, than trying to be another news channel.
It’s rather interesting that his entire argument comprises of a denial they are speaking truth to power a term that means to speak out against the prevailing ideology; only to a few sentences later detail them doing exactly that. Regardless this admission should serve to dispel the notion that Netflix as a company exists to generate revenue or profits for their investors.
Of which even without this admission was easy to dispel given the company is now $12.43 billion in debt with no method or means to pay it off, as reported by Variety.
Make no mistake this company is being held afloat by political money. Each round of funding is done with unregistered Senior Notes at a 4.875% interest rate that will mature no later than 2030. In a NPV analysis given the risk involved, the inability to sell off your position before the maturation date to a third party and the time to maturity 4.875% is not a sound investment. Especially when the deal lacks compounding interest to offset the risk involved in such a long hold in a financially unstable company.
Setting aside the investment issue, this statement largely originates from pressure Bernie Sanders put on the company following their decision to remove the episode critical of the Saudi Prince. Rightfully pointing out that foreign powers should not be deciding what the American people are allowed to watch, Sanders called out Netflix’s decision throwing the company into a negative light amongst the progressive community.
An authoritarian dictator who murders journalists, tortures women activists and starves thousands of children should not control what Americans can and cannot say. https://t.co/AkeVgeK9bn
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 7, 2019
After years of managing a charade of impartiality the moment their own optics were threatened the Netflix administration discarded the pretenses and came out as propagandists. Illustrating for all that corporations are not driven by profit, but by the egos and desires of those that sit at their top.