Peter Bart: Netflix’s Numbers Keep Expanding, But So Does The Criticism

Peter Bart: Netflix’s Numbers Keep Expanding, But So Does The Criticism
Corporate CEOs hate political noise. Comedians thrive on it.

Did Netflix’s co-CEOs sense that they would be stirring both noise and protest rallies when they signed onto Dave Chappelle? Or when they then defied CEO precedent by publicly defending him –then, in a blur of counter-transphobic rhetoric, suggested that they had “screwed up” their defense.

Walt Disney used to boast that no journalist (or activist) ever coaxed a political opinion from him (I once tried). The CEOs of the moment, on the other hand, are increasingly being lured into political combat on issues like abortion (Texas), voting rights (Georgia) or vaccine mandates (the major airline CEOs).

Stars, too, are joining the fray: Matthew McConaughey, having written a goofy bestselling memoir, may now run for governor of Texas. More and more stars and producers are expressing strong views on the “cancel culture.” It’s as though Warren Beatty and Gary Hart had retaken center stage.
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