Imagine this: You've recently been let go from your job.
Your bills are piling up and despite all the job applications you've completed, you still aren't getting any callbacks. Then you catch a break. The phone finally rings and it's someone who wants to hire you! You start tomorrow.
Perhaps this is how the story goes for the several victims of a new prank show
debuting on Netflix later this year. Hosted and executive produced by Gaten Matarazzo
, one of the young stars from the hit show Stranger Things, Prank Encounters "takes two complete strangers who each think they're starting their first day at a new job. It's business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares."
It's "hilarious" for the viewer until they stop to think that the two dupes are real people who are in need of real work. And after enduring the humiliation of falling for countless hijinx for our enjoyment, they will likely get nothing more than a handshake as compensation.
When Gaten and Netflix announced the new show, people were not thrilled. Poking fun at vulnerable people who are struggling to make ends meet is not funny, it's cruel. And when you take into consideration that Mr. Matarazzo earns $200,000 an episode for his role in Stranger Things, it adds an even more twisted dichotomy to the series.
As a talented actor and clearly ambitious young man, Gaten Matarazzo should be applauded for his creativity and encouraged to continue to experiment and grow as an artist and businessman. But an adult in the room, someone at Netflix should have rung the alarm and put an end to this show that — while few specifics are known — seems as if it will highlight the plight of the vulnerable for the enjoyment of those more fortunate.
That's not funny, it's cruel and it shouldn't be put on the air. Please sign the petition and ask Netflix and Mr. Matarazzo to not stream this series.