Netflix has added a new section an update to its corporate culture guidelines. This is the first update from the company since 2017. The addition of ‘Artistic Expression’ section to the guidelines has a message for the company’s employees: Be prepared to work on content you may not agree with. And if you don’t like that, you can quit.
A Netflix spokesman told Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that Netflix has spent the past 18 months discussing cultural issues internally with employees. The new language was added, he said, “so that prospective employees could understand our position, and make better informed decisions about whether Netflix is the right company for them.”
The Netflix spokesman claimed that employees were given a chance to offer feedback on the new culture guidelines and that the company received more than 1,000 comments, which helped shape the new part of the memo. Here’s the guideline titled “Artistic Expression” as it appears on the company’s page:
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. To help members make informed choices about what to watch, we offer ratings, content warnings and easy to use parental controls.
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.