Netflix RACISM row over Love Actually movie recommendations

Angelo Anderson
October 22, 2018

Writer Stacia L Brown pointed out the discrepancy between the posters for her suggested films and the actual stars.

Netflix began personalizing artwork based on viewing habits past year, but many users took issue with the idea of targeting subscribers by race.

For example, Like Father is a comedy starring Kristen Bell as a jilted bride who ends up taking her honeymoon with her estranged father, played by Kelsey Grammar. "20 lines between them, tops". There is however a second one depicting a brief scene that only features black actors Blaire Brooks and Leonard Ouzts, which seems to misleadingly suggest they play a bigger part in the movie.

Two subscribers claimed they received two different artworks for the film "Like Father".

But in the screenshot from Ms Brown, the artwork centres on Kiera Knightley and Oscar-winner Chitwetel Ejiofor.

Many other Netflix users also reported similar experiences with the advertising.


"We don't ask members for their race, gender or ethnicity so we can not use this information to personalize their individual Netflix experience".

"So we can not use this information to personalise their individual Netflix experience". The accusation leveled at the company is that their algorithm will select which picture is shown to the viewer using previous viewing choices, misrepresenting the material on offer. This in turn, she suggests, is duping users into thinking some movies and TV shows are more diverse than they actually are.

Brooklyn-based film-maker Tobi Aremu told The Guardian that he recently watched Set It Up, "which was made to look like a two-hander between Taye Diggs and Lucy Liu, but they were secondary characters in the love story of a young white couple!"

"In their keenness to cater to black audiences, Netflix has overstepped the mark with this issue... I am black, give me black entertainment - don't take something that isn't and try to pretend it is".

It's beyond deceptive to think that I am being manipulated based on my so-called algorithm choices... "If it was me, I would be very upset".

The FADER has reached out to Netflix for comment.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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