Netflix is concerned about your health habits. It’s been there for you in the past, showing you it cares by routinely checking in during your 8-hour Breaking Bad benders to make sure you’re doing okay by asking if you are still watching. Now, the site is nobly attempting to discourage your (very profitable) binging habits—by refusing to refer to them as such.
While promoting his new series The Innøcents in an interview on Empire Film Podcast, Guy Pearce suggested that Netflix had prohibited him from using the term “binge watching.” When asked if he thought viewers would binge watch the show, Pearce replied, “I don’t think Netflix likes the term ‘binge.’” He then explained that ahead of promoting The Innøcents in the United States, the cast members “were strictly sort of instructed beforehand not to talk about ‘binge watching’” during interviews.
This, coming from the site that gave us the single-day series release, and which practically invented (and financially depends upon) the practice of binge watching, comes as a bit of a surprise. Perhaps this is Netflix’s attempt to rewrite the terminology in the wake of Insatiable—you know, the show that inspired a petition for its cancellation on account of its potential to “cause eating disorders and perpetuate the further objectification of women’s bodies”? Or perhaps, like the automatic preview feature and the recently added “recommendations,” it’s is just another of the company’s latest initiatives to “help” viewers.
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Guy Pearce is Dr. Bendik Halvorsen in The Innøcents. Kyle Fowle has the review.