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Netflix turns 25: A look at some of the streaming giant’s questionable releases

Netflix celebrates its 25th year of bringing shows, movies, and specials to the world in a simple and easily accessible format.

Since its creation on August 29, 1997,  the media giant continues to see sustained popularity among entertainment junkies, and has continued to produce a plethora of entertainment choices, many of which are among today’s crowd-favorite shows, such as Korean dramas, edgy cartoons, and even gritty detective movies.

However even a streaming giant with 25 years under their belt can still have lapses in creative judgment–here are a few of Netflix’s controversial titles and content that have been released on their platform.

365 Days

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Often called “softcore porn”, the polish erotic thriller follows a woman who is kidnapped and held captive by a member of a mafia family who then instructs her that she has a year to fall in love with him while she is captive.

A lot of people have called and requested for its removal from the platform for glamorizing rape culture and sex trafficking, as well as romanticizing and eroticizing Stockholm syndrome.

However, despite the controversy it caused, Netflix still released a sequel to the movie.



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This thriller series stars Michelle Monaghan as a CIA agent investigating a mysterious figure known as Al-Masih, who gathers a cult-like group of followers after claiming to be sent by a higher power. 

Due to the show’s religious contexts and concepts, many viewers are outraged by the show. “Al-Masih,” doesn’t just translate into Jesus Christ in Islam, it is also the name that “Dajjal” or the anti-Christ, announces himself in. Messiah offended those who practice and study the religion. As such, the series was canceled after only one season.


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The series follows an autistic high school senior called Sam as he navigates his life, friends, school, and family. Some people find the show distasteful, as some people who have been diagnosed with autism find that a lot of Sam’s actions within the show are strange and misrepresenting of autistic people. The show has been criticized by how Sam’s character is written almost like he’s a robot rather than a person with a condition.

Viewers were also disconcerted about the lack of autistic people working on the show or in any major roles despite the show’s subject and concept.



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The series follows a former overweight and bullied teen who, after having lost weight, becomes a popular beauty queen hell bent on exacting revenge on those who used to torment and humiliate her.

The show was often criticized for being fatphobic, and people on social media claim that the show has triggered their body image issues and eating disorders. Viewers have criticized the show for the message it seemed to convey regarding beauty standards and its apparent value in society.

However, the show was renewed for a second season despite a petition signed with over 100,000 signatures for its cancellation.



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Cuties follows Amy, an 11-year-old girl who tries to escape her family dysfunction by joining a free-spirited dance clique, which aims to build their self-confidence through dance.

Although the show has received critical acclaim and won an award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, some people have accused it of sexualizing young girls. Viewers have voiced out their concerns about how the outfits the girls wore, their actions, and scenes were inappropriate for their age.

However there were personalities who thought positively about the film despite the controversy it caused on the internet. The controversy sparked a huge discourse all over the internet, going as far as the director and a few of the actors receiving death threats because of the film’s reception.


Other POP! stories you might like:

Netflix turns 25: Take a look at the best Netflix originals ever made

Netflix under fire over movie ‘Cuties’

Netflix’s sound logo almost had a goat sound in it—and we’re glad it got cut



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