What is the woke virus and why does Elon Musk blame it for the fall of Netflix?

Netflix, The National
Elon Musk. Photo: Getty Images

Despite the fact that video streaming is going through its best moment, one of the pioneers of this movement is not enjoying it at all. Netflix has started losing users for the first time in 10 years and it hasn’t been 10,000 or 20,000. The report indicates that the service has subtracted the important figure of 200,000 subscribers in what seems to be the worst moment of the firm in the decade.

Although several factors such as the increase in prices in important markets, its withdrawal from Russia in the face of the armed conflict that this country maintains with Ukraine were identified as those responsible for the massive cancellation of Netflix subscriptions and the 35% decrease in its shares in the stock market, which resulted in a loss of 30,000 million dollars, Elon Musk indicated that another factor also contributed to the fall of the company.

Although Netflix chose to mention that the changes it has been announcing in recent months, including an additional fee for those who share their account and password with others who do not live at the same address, have caused users stay away, the truth is that not all the responsibility lies with the users, as the company demonstrated by confirming that they are already working on a cheap plan that will include ads, something that has also earned criticism from subscribers.

The tycoon behind Tesla Motors and SpaceX, who is also one of the wealthiest men on the planet, mentioned on Twitter that “the virus woke up is causing Netflix to no longer be seen »without further developing his statement after publishing it in the report that the portal Slashdot shared on social network.

What does businessman mean with virus woke up?

woke (awakening in English) is a term that was initially coined to refer to the social movements that have emerged in recent decades. Although at the beginning it only referred to the protests of marginalized African-American communities in the United States, years later it would also extend to other types of social manifestations such as the feminist movement and LGBTQ+.

According to The Conversationthe term was first used in an article on unions written by J. Saunders Redding – a writer and teacher who became the first African-American to teach at an Ivy League institution – in 1942. The piece would be included in the first volume of Negro Digest magazine and it would not be until 1962 that New York Times he recovered the word, 20 years later.

However, the term woke up it has become something of a stigma by conservative groups who want to belittle the advances of activists who, in their words, “only seek to fight for the human rights of historically marginalized groups.”

What does all this have to do with Netflix?

Well, Musk used viruses woke up to cynically refer to what he and many users of the service consider as “forced inclusion”, within which appearances of black, Latino, LGBTQ+ characters or any initiative that escapes the supposed normality that has been tried for many years are contemplated sell through the media.

While the use of this term may imply much more, since he did not elaborate on his comment, it is most likely that Elon Musk used it to refer to the company’s tendency to create series and movies with these “forced inclusions”, such as “Sex Education”, “Bridgerton” and “He’s Expecting”, considering that the latter is carried out by a pregnant man.

Also, the fact that the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX reply to the comment from a user who indicated that not only Netflix, but movies in general, video games, television and other media are infested with this tendency for fear of offending someone with a short but blunt truth only supports the aforementioned is what he was referring to.

*The Grupo de Diarios América (GDA), to which El Nacional belongs, is a leading media network founded in 1991 that promotes democratic values, an independent press and freedom of expression in Latin America through quality journalism for our audiences.

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