Freedom of speech does not exist for employees of Netflix. They sign that right away as part of their employment contract. Three high paid executives just learned a hard legal lesson, they got fired for “private” messages they exchanged on Slack.
No slack from Netflix
The bigwigs running video streaming giant Netflix refuse to cut their employees an inch of slack in their personal communications. They just canned half their senior marketing executives in a single purge. Simply for venting about their jobs. Nobody has leaked exactly what was said in the Slack conversation but it must have been juicy.
The Hollywood reporter claims that it “included criticism of chief marketing officer Bozoma Saint John.” Ms. Saint John happens to be Black but that was not a factor, their source insists. “there was nothing racist or disparaging to any particular community in the chat.”
Meanwhile, another “source close to Netflix” leaked to the New York Post that “Saint John was not the target of any of the criticism in the private chat.”
This source wants the public to know “the trio’s jabs targeted colleagues in lateral positions, rather than upper management.”
No matter what the executives said in allegedly private messages, Netflix calls it “inconsistent” with their “core values.” Questioning anything is verboten. According to a company spokesunit, the “depiction of the Slack messages in question being critical of marketing leadership is untrue.”
Even though there are conflicting reports, the company seems to take the position that the “three offenders also criticized their immediate boss.” That would be VP of marketing for their original films, Jonathan Helfgot, “who was reportedly reluctant to fire the three, arguing that they were just venting and it did not warrant firings.”
They call it ‘real values’
Even Helfgot wasn’t high enough up the ladder to beg a reprieve for his disgruntled executives. Now he has to find three more people who can wheel and deal with the same degree of skills. He was pressured by “higher-ups” to give them the ax.
It’s all spelled out on the job website page. Netflix says read the “Real Values” section real close before you upload your resume. It’s their carved in stone corporate policy that you “only say things about fellow employees that you say to their face.”
The fired executives would have said what they said to the face of who they were complaining about and all would be well. Keeping it private and out of the workplace gossip column got them punished severely.
“This attribute is one of the hardest for new people to believe — and to learn to practice. In most situations, both social and work, those who consistently say what they really think about people are quickly isolated and banished,” Netflix makes clear. “We work hard to get people to give each other professional, constructive feedback — up, down and across the organization — on a continual basis.”
Hollywood reporter talked off the record to a few Netflix insiders and learned that their “culture is all about transparency and giving feedback. It would make sense that there should be no need for private conversation.”
Another said that “co-CEO Ted Sarandos told the outlet” that he believes “private griping” to be “a firing offense because it’s destructive to the fabric of the company.” The days of stick the disk in the envelope and stick it in the mail are over. Now they have to monitor social justice.