Netflix’s Unscripted Chief Reveals Release Strategy1 min read

We’ve seen a handful of unscripted series on other networks fire castmembers in recent weeks over accusations of racism. How does the community evolve its casting searches and standards in a genre that historically has relied on controversial characters?

It is a good reminder for all of us in nonfiction of how seriously we need to take the vetting process. When you’re casting someone to be on a TV show, you’re giving that person a microphone and a platform, right? Without a doubt, you don’t want to give a platform to people who have a known history of hate speech or violence or racist comments. These are things that are clearly nonstarters. So it’s a responsibility that we take incredibly seriously, and the best thing that you can do to guard against this [kind of problem] is to be focused and diligent in your vetting process.

What does the vetting process entail at Netflix?

We have a dedicated team of execs who go through and look at anybody we’re considering having on a show. It’s case by case, depending on what the show is. Dating Around is obviously putting people in a different environment than Nailed It, so it’s hard to get into the specifics. But you’re looking at past social media posts, you’re doing a proper background check, and you hope that you can vet thoroughly in advance, and then when things that are troubling or problematic come up, you have the conviction to say, “[That person] is not worth it.”

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