If Netflix Hates the Phrase ‘Binge-Watching,’ Why Does Their Site Still Have ‘Binge-Worthy’ Recs?
In a new interview, Guy Pearce revealed that Netflix despises the term “binge-watching” — so much so that they told the actor to avoid using it in interviews for his upcoming Netflix Original series The Innocents. That seems a little odd, especially coming from a company that’s prided itself on creating “binge-worthy” content; a company that continues pouring millions of dollars into producing original series to keep viewers mainlining TV shows during every available moment of their lives. But there’s one more (fairly significant) thing that makes Pearce’s comments seem super strange, and makes Netflix look kinda hypocritical.
If you log in to your Netflix account right now, you’re likely to find “binge-worthy” (their words, not mine) TV categories among their algorithm’s various recommendations. Don’t believe me? I just logged into my account on my browser, and found not one, but two different “binge-worthy TV” categories:
Here’s Pearce’s exact quote, from the Empire Magazine film podcast (via IndieWire) for reference:
I don’t think Netflix likes the term ‘binge.’ When we did the promotion for [‘The Innocents’] in the [United States], we were strictly sort of instructed beforehand not to talk about ‘binge-watching.’
So Netflix would prefer their talent to refrain from using the phrase “binge-watching” while giving interviews, but they have no problem continuing to use a variation on that phrase on their very own website.
Listen, it’s not a major scandal or anything. It just seems wildly hypocritical. It’s like if McDonald’s told its employees to refrain from using the phrase “super-size” even though the option is right there on their menus. But if the customer says “super-size,” it’s okay.
Is Netflix trying to distance itself from binge-able content? Have they begun to correlate binge-watching with a lesser quality of television? And since when did Netflix become so preoccupied with quality, anyway? This is a company that’s been taking the quantity approach to programming; just throwing millions of dollars at the wall to see if anything sticks. Of the 100-plus original shows currently airing, pending renewal or officially concluded, you could name maybe a dozen that are worth your time.
And how are Netflix’s customers supposed to ingest all that content if they don’t binge-watch at least some of it? Ridiculous.