What’s Behind the #BoycottNetflix Movement?
Many claim that Hollywood generally seems to favor the liberal side of politics, but a growing concern that streaming giant Netflix is leaning even further to the left in their content may be sparking a backlash from Republican viewers.
The hashtag “#BoycottNetflix” is springing up on Twitter to take a stand against a perceived liberal bias in Netflix’s content offerings.
The uprising stems from last month’s announcement that Netflix was entering an exclusive multi-year deal with Barack and Michelle Obama. Additionally, a talk show debuted last week with comedian Michelle Wolf, who famously caused a stir with conservatives at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April.
In March, Netflix also named Susan Rice — former national security adviser to President Obama, and a conservative target in the Benghazi scandal — to its board of directors.
Subsequently, some people on the right say that they are canceling their Netflix subscriptions in protest.
But is this really causing a dent in viewership on their side of the aisle? According to new data from YouGov, Netflix has dropped in favor among Republicans and risen among Democrats, with the favorability rating dropping 16 percent for the former and rising 15 percent for the latter. But, according to YouGov, Netflix is still viewed favorably as a whole among Democrats and Republicans alike.
Indeed, Netflix is the No. 2 most popular TV network overall tracked by YouGov (based data from Nov. 10, 2017-May 28, 2018), ranking behind only Discovery.
Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer — who has personal ties to Democratic figures — has also suggested critics wait for the actual content that emerges from the Obamas’ production company before passing judgment.
“This is not The Obama Network,” said Sarandos, speaking at the Paley Center for Media in New York on May 29. “There’s no political slant to the programming.”
The Obamas had also reportedly said they would keep politics out of their Netflix deal.
Variety adds that Netflix is a worldwide streaming service, and the Obamas happened to have excellent worldwide approval ratings — when Barack Obama left office, he had a 76 percent approval rating from 24 countries, according to data compiled by Ipsos. This was a stark contrast from Trump’s numbers from the same data when he entered office — 66 percent of people surveyed thought that he would be a bad president.