Reed Hastings Discusses Glass Onion, Dave Chapelle, and More

(L-R) Kate Hudson as Birdie, Leslie Odom Jr. as Lionel, Kathryn Hahn as Claire, Edward Norton as Myles, Jessica Henwick as Peg, Madelyn Cline as Whiskey and Dave Bautista as Duke in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Courtesy of Netflix. © 2022.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings discussed Glass Onion, Dave Chappelle, and more during an appearance at the New York Times DealBook conference.

Reed Hastings
Reed Hastings. Courtesy of Netflix.

On the Glass Onion box office, Hastings said the following (via Deadline):

“It’s a promotional tactic for the streaming service. We are not trying to build a theatrical business.”

The CEO also admitted to Netflix leaving money on the table. Talk to anyone and they’ll tell that this film would have made north of $50-100 million if it had a four-week-minimum theatrical release. I know people who preferred to see the film in theaters rather than wait even longer until seeing it on Netflix. When you have a whodunit comedy that is prone to spoilers, it’s a film that people want to see sooner than later. It’s why I attended the world premiere knowing nothing under than who was in the cast. Here’s to hoping Netflix rethinks their plans for Knives Out 3 because this is a fun film to watch with an audience.

If Hastings thinks more people will subscribe to Netflix for the film, that might be true. The question is how many of these people already already have a Netflix subscription. We’ll have to see what happens on this front. On the awards-voting front, Netflix will not have screeners available before the film’s December 23 release. It is also not in the swag box that awards voters are receiving this week.

Elon Musk appears in Young Sheldon
Pictured: Elon Musk appears in YOUNG SHELDON – “A Patch, a Modem, and a Zantac” – airing Thursday, Nov. 30 (8:31-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo credit: Darren Michaels/CBS. ©2017 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

His comments praising of Elon Musk are very perplexing (via Vox). Hastings describes Elon Musk as “the bravest, most creative person on the planet.” Maybe if he were just dealing with cars but not when it comes to owning a social media platform in Twitter. There’s nothing creative about amplifying hate speech on a platform, let alone Musk’s perpetuation of antisemitism himself. He’s letting right-wing trolls control who gets a ban from Twitter. Nor is this something to be praising Elon Musk about. It is a very serious problem when organizations like the ADL, NAACP, and GLAAD are calling you out. In calling out critics, Hastings says: “I’m 100 percent convinced that he is trying to help the world.” Unlike Hastings, I will not praise Elon Musk for overspending on Twitter.

Dave Chappelle hosts Saturday Night Live, SNL
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — “Dave Chappelle, Black Star” Episode 1832 — Pictured: Host Dave Chappelle during the monologue on Saturday, November 12, 2022 . Photo credit: Will Heath/NBC.

But then again, Reed Hastings is the same person to say that they would order Dave Chappelle’s comedy specials again and again. If you’ve been living in a cave, Chappelle has a history of transphobic and antisemitic comedy. Speaking of Chappelle, he did come up during the talk (via The Verge). Suffice it to say, I’m disappointed in Hastings here:

“We’re just trying to be the most exciting entertainment company and more,” Hastings said when asked about how Netflix deals with controversy. “That special was one of the most entertaining watch specials we’ve ever had. We would do it again and again.” Hastings then goes on to describe Chappelle as “very entertaining and provocative,” aligning with Netflix’s overall goal of being “about entertainment.”

THERE IS NOTHING ENTERTAINING ABOUT TRANSPHOBIC OR ANTISEMITIC COMEDY. PERIOD. How many times do I have to repeat myself? Listen to the transgender community when we discuss harmful comedy. When a comedian is punching down at a marginalized community, it’s not funny. We’re already at a point where DHS is warning of domestic terror threats to LGBTQ, Jewish, and migrant communities. Chappelle’s harmful comedy is not helping the situation. He already got away with an antisemitic routine on “Space Jews” (which received nearly zero criticism outside of the Jewish community).

Netflix will release Glass Onion on December 23, 2022.

Please subscribe to Solzy at the Movies on Substack.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.