I am going to start this post with a rather strong statement. You should seriously consider canceling your Netflix subscription. Why? Well, because just yesterday the company took an official and public stance in support of abortion, against Georgia’s House Bill 481, the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act.” Among other things, HB 481 defines an unborn child as a “natural person” and prohibits abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, except under certain provisions.
If you didn’t know, Georgia is now a major location for America’s film and television industry. Recently, elements of this industry have voiced their advocacy of abortion and their displeasure with Georgia by threatening to remove business from the state in response to HB 481. Yesterday, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, made the following statement in response to an inquiry from Variety: “We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law. It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
Did you catch that? Setting aside Sarandos’ lamentable construal of rights and disregard for human personhood, notice his assertion that Netflix, as a matter of policy (i.e. not just Sarandos’ own personal opinion) will work to oppose HB 481. The company has clearly and publicly sided with the evil that is abortion on demand and is, apparently, involving itself in a legal battle concurrent with its stance. This is not neutrality and inaction in the face of a moral travesty (i.e. abortion) – which may be bad enough – it is active support of that moral travesty. How can we who register such concern with the sin of abortion remain a subscriber to Netflix in light of this development. I think it’s time to walk away from this particular company.
Now, there’s a difficult question that arises when one starts down the road I’ve suggested here. Where does it stop? There are so many prominent, mainstream organizations in our culture supportive of social or political positions that are profoundly wicked. Indeed, I suspect the list of those who explicitly support abortion “rights” (so-called) would be quite long and comprehensive. So, when do we stand for the right by refusing to patronize a company or support an organization, especially in terms of our finances? How do we keep from becoming paranoid crusaders who see a social boogie man at every turn? In other words, how do we simply live in the world and context God has given to us, consistent in our stand against evil and our advocacy of truth, without tying ourselves into convictional and emotional knots?
It’s a good question…with a number of facets to a good answer…and too extensive to take up in a short blog post. For the moment though, specific to the question of Netflix, consider this point: Being entertained by Netflix is not essential to life; it is not integral to daily living well in the society and culture God has put us in. In other words, patronizing Netflix is entirely a matter of discretion and it falls squarely in the “entertainment” arena of life, an arena we probably give far too much time, and attention, and money to anyway. Can I not walk away, for Jesus’ sake, from an entertainment company when that company takes a public stance in support of an evil like abortion? If not, then what am I willing to demonstrably give up in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ? If I can’t lay down my entertainment habits, then how can I claim that I am following him with my whole heart, and soul, and mind, and strength?
It’s a penetrating question indeed…
So, be encouraged…and say goodbye to Netflix.