Netflix CEO and Those ‘Crocodile Tears’

Gayle Leslie
4 min readOct 1, 2023

Mandy Moore and the 1¢ residual check.

Cancel Culture: the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing disapproval and exerting social pressure.

Consequence: a result or effect of an action or condition.

This is an excerpt from a more comprehensive piece I wrote on the banality of ‘whiteness.’

I’d thought to write a piece on the cascade of uber wealthy saying the quiet part out loud in recent weeks, telling us — to our faces — that all those decades of working people ‘complaining’ about the institutional racism, misogyny and classism that we intuited were keeping us on our knees, unable to prosper, to move forward, to thrive — all the reasons, the excuses these self-congratulatory gatekeepers had for not treating working folks with dignity, let alone paying them — was all in our heads. That all ‘we the people’ had to do was work harder, be sweeter and stop complaining and that we would be fine.

The self ordained ‘ruling class’ were not ‘gaslighting’ us, they were just smarter, they worked harder, they just knew better than we did what was good for us. That ‘we the people’ were lazy and ungrateful.

‘We the people’ aren’t fine. In fact, weren’t f*cking pissed and over it.

My first thought was to write about them, but lately they’ve done such a stellar job of telling us themselves, saying the quiet part out loud that I’ve elected to let these clever folks speak for themselves.

Streaming services like Netflix have been one of the few ‘winners’ during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

A writer for FX’s ‘The Bear’ went to the Writers Guild of America Awards with a negative bank account balance and won for Best Comedy Series. He’s now applying for jobs at movie theaters.”

When the award winning show ‘This Is Us’ went into reruns on streaming platforms, Mandy Moore — the star of the show — reported receiving a residual check for 1¢, because the actors’ last contract negotiations were decades ago before there were streaming platforms. Before streaming, actors made their livings on residuals, but there is no equation for even calculating or paying residuals in any of the streaming models. Top brass maintains that their profits calculating apparatus must be kept secret to keep their ‘competitive edge’, making it just im-f*cking-possible to reveal the true numbers to the actors and writers in the negotiations. I can simplify that conundrum: return to the SHARED COMMON calculating mechanism the Company used to sort this out for decades before these brain-trusts appeared on the scene. Problem solved.

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos’ compensation reached $50.3 million last year. That calculation is true across the board for CEOs operating these platforms.

While Sarandos claims that the company has no mechanism for calculating payments to so many artists, Netflix is available in over 190 countries, using big data analytics to track the interaction of every customer and produce more original content; clearly the company is capable of running the numbers, allocating compensation payments to thousands of actors and writers.

If Netflix can afford to spend $166 million on executive compensation, it can afford the roughly $68 million artists are seeking in their contract negotiations.

[Update: as of this post, Writers have today reached a tentative three-year agreement with streaming services. Operative word there being ‘three-year’; no more open ended agreements in the world of ever-changing technology that no one can foresee or control. As for the actors, we shall see.]

Chuckleheads like Ted Sarandos leverage their whiteness to access the levers of power: power to gerrymander elections; power to gerrymander the stock market; power to gerrymander the mechanisms of governance, taxation, regulation and the judiciary; the power to gerrymander the assembly-line floor, to withhold life altering healthcare, to rape with impunity and to decide who becomes a star and who is never heard from again.

While the rest of us are expected to resign ourselves to our lesser station in the social order, bend over and grab our ankles and take it up the a** without resistance or complaint.

Begging the question: how’s that goin’ for ya’?