Sep 23, 2010

Netflix - Anti-American?

 Reed Hastings thinks that Americans are "self-absorbed"

Update 9/23/10 6:40pm - I just received a response to my email.  However, it was a generic apology which pointed me to a blog entry on the Netflix site.

The email I received is as follows:

Dear Mr. Damon;

Thank you for your email. We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your feedback and comments.

Please visit the Netflix Blog for an update regarding the comment that was made:

Once again, we thank you for your feedback.


Elena Mukhin

Netflix, Inc.

Note, the horrible formatting is an exact replica of the email.  I did not put in all those blank lines.  For those of you who want to read the apology without having to jump pages, here it is:


My Big American Foot in is my mouth. Yesterday, I made an awkward joke with a reporter in Toronto about Americans (like me) being self-absorbed relative to Netflix pricing in Canada. I was wrong to have made the joke, and I do not believe that one of the most philanthropically-minded nations in the world (America) is self-absorbed or full of self-absorbed people. The pricing Netflix is offering in Canada, $7.99 per month, does not include any DVD-by-mail option, and that is why it is cheaper than our $8.99 USA plan which has both DVD-by-mail and streaming in one plan. We are looking at adding a streaming-only option for the USA over the coming months. My apologies to anyone offended by my self-absorbed comment. Sincerely, -Reed

Posted by Reed Hastings at 3:27 PM

The issue, Mr. Hastings, was not in the price difference nor services provided.  The issue was with your comments concerning America as a whole which proceeded to upset many of your subscribers, and by the looks of the remarks left on your blog, you've lost quite a few of them.

As of now, considering how hard it was to find this apology, the generic email response, and how you "joked" about your customer base, I'm still pondering whether or not to continue my subscription.  I have enjoyed the streaming, but I don't want to give my money to anyone who treats his nation and customer base as you have.

Update 9/23/10 5:18pm - Having discovered that Hastings' email is (as listed in the comments section of The Hollywood Reporter), I proceeded to send him this email:

Mr. Hastings,

I am responding to the comment you made earlier concerning:  "How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It's something we'll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed."  I am a blogger, I have posted a question to the Netflix forum and have blogged about my experience here:  My readers and I would appreciate a prompt response from you concerning this.  Is this truly how you feel?  Why did you make this comment?  Care to retract it and apologize?


Philip Damon
The Troubled Patriot Blog
Netflix subscriber (but perhaps not for long?)

I urge you to contact him as well in a polite and respectful manner.  If I get a response, I'll post it here.  I also ask that you share any that you receive.

Original post below

Drudge recently posted a link to an article from The Hollywood Reporter which contained an interview with Netflix's CEO Reed Hastings concerning their new operations in Canada.

THR: Are you concerned that American Netflix subscribers will look north and ask for the same discount Canadians get at $7.99?

Hastings: How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It's something we'll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed.

I am a Netflix subscriber and have referred others to their service. However, I am an American first and foremost.  I logged into Netflix seeking for a way to contact the company to leave a complaint.  However, there was no email option for me to do so.  I ended up calling their customer service, and the only contact information I was given was Netflix's Facebook page.  I tried posting my comment on the page's wall, but it was immediately removed.  Thus, I was forced to post my complaint to the forum here.

For a company that started service in America, to have its CEO blast Americans in such a way, is to me an incredible insult.  I have demanded a response from Hastings, but I am unsure as to what will occur.  I will keep you posted on what happens.

I do know this, if Hastings refuses to retract his comment and apologize - publicly, I will cancel my membership and encourage others to do so as well. The Troubled Patriot refuses to support or endorse anyone with an anti-American agenda.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you really so bored? Americans are self-absorbed. How much does the average American know about any other nation? Forget the FEW million of you who are at least worldly in some manner. HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of Americans know nothing of world issues except their state or at best their country. It isn't the fault of the people. Your government wants it that way.