An Open Letter to Netflix

About The New Series “Big Mouth”

TO: Reed Hastings, Founder & CEO; <rhastings@netflix.com>

Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer; <tsarandos@netflix.com>

Kelly Bennett, Chief Marketing Officer; <kbennett@netflix.com>

and all Netflix leadership,

We are cinema lovers, and longtime Netflix subscribers, who have enjoyed your service and content, but were stopped short at the revelation of your boundary-obliterating new series, Big Mouth. We are writing to you today to raise our grave concerns over the way it sexualizes pubescent kids, reveling in explicit, over-the-top subject matter.

We fully understand and appreciate the freedoms that come with living in the society we have in the United States, and fully support the freedom of speech enshrined in our founding documents. We also believe that such freedoms carry responsibilities, and it’s this sense of responsibility which causes us to write you.

Even amidst the sea change in sexual views washing over our culture, this new show stands out starkly. The particular combination of elements - explicitly sexual material, and children - is a powerfully corrosive mix. Regardless of the debate over values in our pluralistic society, the protection of children, and the refusal to accept their sexualization has been something almost everyone has agreed on. We’re fully cognizant of the fact that the show is intended to elicit laughter through shock, but some things are just too important to mishandle. Cooking up a mix of children and vulgar, explicit sexuality for the purpose of laughs is a dereliction of our duty to keep certain things inviolable.

We also understand that while kids will no doubt watch this show, that's not who it's intended for, and here is the crux of why it is such a mis-step: parading sexualized children in front of an adult audience veers well outside of society's guard rails and toward the cliff's edge.

Understanding the power of media, and the specific power that Netflix now wields in that arena, we urge you to reconsider this show. As much as our culture may pride itself on exploring new territory, not all strides are in a good direction. Consider the precedent this sets, the paradigms it shapes, and the future it ushers in. We ask you to soberly evaluate the effects of such things on the culture - both the present and future effects, and remove this from your roster.

As long-standing Netflix customers, we ask you to take decisive action on this. As much as we have enjoyed our patronage of your business over the years, we cannot in good conscience continue to underwrite your efforts with our subscriptions if this project proceeds.


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