While we continue to monitor the controversy surrounding Facebook [NYSE: FB], news has now surfaced of another company facing similar issues which may affect its stock value in the coming weeks. Netflix [NYSE: NFLX] is the latest victim of a boycott from Brazilians, an international market which provides the company with a vast number of subscribers.
There is now an active #DeleteNetflix campaign on Twitter, protesting the original Netflix series ‘The Mechanism’ which was aired last Friday. The Mechanism is a fictional show based on a true story of a corruption investigation in 2014, most popularly known as ‘Car Wash.’ It involved business leaders, multinational corporations and not surprisingly, politicians. The investigation was initially targeted towards black market dealers who used small businesses such as gas stations and car washes for money laundering purposes. In other words to wash illegal money. Over 150 persons have already been arrested in the probe, prosecuted or were brought before the courts. This made ‘Car Wash’ one of the most talked about and most complex corruption scandal of all time in South America.
Impeached former President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, described the show as ‘underhanded and full of lies.’ While movie critic Pablo Villaca also chimed in on the issue referring to the series as ‘irresponsible.’ He cancelled his subscription to Netflix after been a loyal customer for six years and further encourages others to follow suit. Villaca lamented that the producer of the series is ‘a creator of fake news’ and equated the series to a ‘movie where Winston Churchill makes a deal with Adolf Hitler to attack the United States.’
Now wouldn’t that be a complete fallacy?
The series director, Jose Padilha, subsequently responded saying, ‘critics are too focused on the details and missing the bigger picture.’ However, since we all know Padilha is a native of Brazil he shouldn’t be surprised that the series has gotten this type of attention and criticism from Brazilians. While standing firm on his position that the series is non-ideological, Padilha may have contradicted himself as he further stated, ‘We can’t blame the messenger.’ He seems to think Brazilians are overreacting and he has no plans of cancelling the series. Padilha hopes to air as much seasons as possible until corruption ends in Brazil; which may very well be a long time.
While Netflix is yet to officially respond to the uproar, the company recently posted a video on its Twitter page with a video of an advertisement which reads, ‘corruption store.’ Additionally, the ad depicted items such as ankle monitors and pocket underwears to facilitate store bribes.
We anxiously await Netflix’s response to this development as well as the impact on viewership and subscription. This is definitely one to watch.