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The #MeToo movement against sexual misconduct that has rocked the entertainment world may have now resulted in a new policy at Netflix. According to reports, the streaming giant has handed down new rules for what can and cannot happen on sets, presumably to prevent more issues akin to what happened on the set of House of Cards and star Kevin Spacey's behavior. Among these reported rules are mandates against staring at each other for too long and flirting.
The alleged new rules include not looking at anyone for more than five seconds, shouting "Stop" if a colleague is seen being inappropriate, not giving lingering hugs or touching anyone for a "lengthy period of time," not flirting, not asking a colleague out more than once if the answer was no, avoiding a colleague if they said they weren't interested, not asking for a colleague's phone number unless permission has been given for it to be distributed, and reporting any colleagues who give unwanted attention to somebody else. This comprehensive list of rules seems specifically tailored to prevent more situations like those reported in the #MeToo movement. That said, reports of these new rules come from The Sun in the U.K., so it's best to take them with a grain of salt until Netflix gives an official comment.
Allegedly, an on-set runner working on Black Mirror production in West London is the source of a number of comments about the new policies, saying that senior staff attended a meeting about harassment to get the details on what is and is not inappropriate for the Netflix work environment, and everybody got a talk about #MeToo. The same source reportedly stated that the new rules resulted in employees joking around with regard to the policy against staring, with colleagues counting to five and averting their eyes after almost five seconds of staring.
At stated, Netflix has not at the time of writing commented on the alleged new policies. Netflix has, however, released a statement saying that the company is "proud of the anti-harassment training we offer" and "we believe the resources we offer empower people on our sets to speak up, and shouldn't be trivialized." Only time will tell if Netflix ever releases an official and specific statement regarding these reported new policies. If they are real, the streaming giant will probably have to address them publicly at some point, as it's unlikely that they could be kept under wraps for too long. Netflix does have a lot of sets and projects.
We'll have to wait and see. If you're now in the mood for what Netflix has to offer in its vast library, take a look at our 2018 Netflix premiere guide. You can find more streaming options on our rundown of important 2018 Amazon Prime dates, and our summer TV premiere schedule can point you toward your cable, broadcast, and premium cable options now and in the not-too-distant future.