News flash: Netflix is trash

News flash: Netflix is trash

Sabrina Ngu, News Editor

Netflix is by far one of the most popular streaming services in the world, and for good reason – it has a variety of shows and movies, and always there for people during a time of crisis (a global pandemic, for instance). There is a lot to love about Netflix, but nothing’s perfect, and Netflix has many problems of its own. 

A pressing issue of Netflix is whitewashing. Recently, the cast of “Fate: The Winx Saga,” the live-action adaptation of “Winx Club,” has undergone a lot of controversies. For those who don’t know, “Winx Club” is a 2004 television animation about teenage girls vanquishing the forces of evil with their magical powers. 

Three of the six main characters were made to look like women of color: Flora (Latina), Aisha (Black) and Musa (East Asian). It was a revolutionary show in terms of representation, and an inspiration for young girls.  

But the live-action adaptation of this beloved cartoon did more than just erase the existence of Techna, one of the main characters. Flora, whose name was changed to Terra in the live-action, and Musa were cast as white women, and the only person of color in the final main cast was Aisha. It’s as if the creators of the live-action realized last minute that their show would get criticized for having no racial representation in the show, so they added Aisha’s character to make them seem “diverse.” 

Many have looked up to these sparkling, colorful characters in the animation, ecstatic that they were able to see people that look like them. It’s just a shame that this representation isn’t reflected in Netflix and beyond other sources of entertainment.   

“Being a person of color, sometimes it can be frustrating watching mainstream popular movies and shows and seeing absolutely no one who looks like you or acts like you,” junior Riya Kishen said. “I was really happy when ‘Never Have I Ever’ came out on Netflix because it was centered around an Indian character, but no other show like it really exists.” 

Graphic by Sabrina Ngu

Another issue with Netflix is canceling well-received shows with large fanbases. There are many shows and movie franchises that received raving reviews and gained many fans, examples such as the 2020 coming-of-age “I Am Not Okay With This” and the mystery teen drama “The Society.” 

Just like any other piece of entertainment, fans would wait in anticipation for a continuation. Unfortunately, both of these shows never got that chance to be better than the last. “The Society” and “I Am Not Okay With This” were renewed for second seasons, yet canceled in 2020 due to the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“[Netflix] cancels a ton of shows before they can even hit their prime,” senior Benjamin Freedman said. “‘I Am Not Okay With This’ and ‘The Society’ were well liked by both fans and critics alike, and Netflix just cut their wings before we can really see what they could’ve become.” 

Then, it is the problematic promotions. “Cuties” is a 2020 French social commentary directed by Maïmouna Doucouré, a critique of the hypersexualization of young children, especially that of young girls. Despite these intentions, as well as the fact that the movie received positive reviews, the way Netflix advertised the movie before its release went against the whole point of the movie. 

When Netflix released the initial poster, it sparked outrage online because ironically, it sexualized children. Netflix was indicted in the United States for allegedly streaming child pornography, and a hashtag #CancelNetflix also went around. The poster was eventually replaced following the criticism, but it did not change the fact that Netflix twisted the movie’s message. 

These problems aren’t just present in Netflix, but in many other streaming services. It is not a disgrace to use Netflix, but acknowledging the flaws far outweighs being a blind follower. 

“If you only think about benefits or negatives, you aren’t seeing the full picture,” senior Meredith Czurlanis said. “If you are too positive about it, you will never see corruption or bad in anything so you will continue to follow something or someone until you realize. And if you only see the negatives, you are being closed-minded, and that may inhibit you from experiencing new things.”