Netflix CEO has talked up the popularity of international shows like Spain’s “Money Heist,” Italy’s “Summertime” and Germany’s “Unorthodox” during the global lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
In an audio essay broadcast on BBC Sounds, Hastings said, “We know that great stories can come from anywhere and be loved everywhere. We’ve made it our mission to work with the best storytellers from all around the world and give them a global platform. Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen our members watching more content from other countries or cultures. In part that’s because people have had more time to explore our service, in part it is because we’re discovering that the more global we become the more important it is that we work with local, diverse creators, to tell local, authentic stories that speak to us all.”
“These stories translate across borders because they reflect universal truths. At their best, stories have the power to make a real impact in people’s lives,” Hastings added.
“With daily life at a standstill there has been an unusually captive audience, hungry for distraction, for entertainment, for a connection with the outside world,” Hastings said. “In that context, entertainment providers have a vital role to play in fostering a better understanding of other peoples’ lives, by offering up films, series and documentaries that can help audiences find common ground.”
“I’ve always believed what you find on Netflix and what you see on our screens more broadly, should be a reflection of the real world in all its outstanding, complex glory. And that means sometimes uncovering the most uncomfortable and challenging parts of our society. Championing unheard causes and creating content that goes against the grain of what’s typically exported by Hollywood.”
” ’13th,’ ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘When They See Us,’ ‘Roma’ – that is how we change the world. For all the trauma and pain COVID-19 has caused, and will continue to cause, this collective experience has also the potential to help us reevaluate how much we have in common,” Hastings said.
“We will redouble our commitment to telling stories that build empathy, inspire action and ultimately unite us,” Hastings concluded.