Netflix faces boycott over Dear White People

Keeping track of all the recent boycotts can be mind-numbing, but there is currently a movement to cancel Netflix subscriptions over the planned upcoming series Dear White People.

The new series, due to come out April 28th, is based on a movie with the same title from 2014. Because of the divisive political climate these days, topics of race are always subject to extra scrutiny from both sides of the aisle.

According to a description found on the show’s IMDb page, the 2014 movie is “A social satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students.” Some protesters believe it is insensitive towards multiple racial groups.

If the stock watch on Google is any indication though, Netflix is not bleeding money from the boycott. As of 10:06 EST, Netflix is up by .47-percent. There is no panic at the moment from the juggernaut streaming company.

Do boycotts even make a difference? Because of the hot political climate today with both sides boycotting stores, the answer is probably no.

“It’s really difficult for the public to keep their attention on any one of these things,” Brayden King, assistant professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University, explained to the Chicago Tribune.

“If you have so many boycotts competing for the public’s eye, you’re diluting the effect of the boycott.”

To back up the quote, currently there are calls to boycott Starbucks and Nordstrom by the same people unsubscribing from Netflix. Late last year, there was also a movement to boycott Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

King’s point is that if the boycott focused on one particular product or service, it might hold a better chance at success.

In addition, Netflix is one of the hottest companies out there because of the unquenchable demand for streaming services. With more original shows and revivals (such as Fuller House Season 3) coming to the network soon, as well as a strong backlog of older shows too, it does not seem like Netflix can stop growing.

Still, Netflix would be wise to be careful, as there is always a long-term risk in alienating consumers passionate about certain issues. It is also unusual for a show trailer to receive over 300,000 dislikes, which goes against the idea that only one group is working against this series. So, there is some cause for concern, even if small.

Is any boycott strong enough to put a dent in Netflix though? It is a tough task, to say the least.

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