Guy Pearce Says Netflix Doesn't Actually Like The Term Binge-Watching

Guy Pearce Bendik “Ben” Halvorson The Innocents Netflix

Guy Pearce and Netflix are almost certainly in agreement about wanting subscribers to binge-watch the service's new original series The Innocents, although the star shared some interesting info he recently found out that might suggest something else. Pearce revealed that despite the popularity of "binge-watching" as a buzzword and as an early advantage Netflix formed over its traditional television competition, the company apparently doesn't like the term itself. :

People do, but I don't think Netflix likes the term 'binge'. When we did the promotion for [The Innocents] in the [United States], we were strictly sort of instructed beforehand not to talk about 'binge-watching'.

Guy Pearce didn't know the specific reasoning behind why he wasn't allowed to talk about "binge-watching," while promoting The Innocents in the U.S., but did confirm to The Empire Film Podcast that he wasn't given any other form of wording to use to describe the action. Pearce's explanation seemed to imply the restriction was specific to the U.S. leg of the press tour, and it's perhaps also indicative of the rule's possible exclusivity that he mentioned the issue to a U.K. media outlet. Does this mean it's fine for Netflix stars to talk about "binge-watching" in other countries other than the United States?

It's a question that, unfortunately, neither Pearce nor Netflix has any available answers for. We can speculate, however, that the word "binge" itself can be interpreted to have a negative connotation, since it's usually used when describing excessive and unhealthy eating or drinking. So perhaps there are those who feel "binge-watching" means one is watching way more television in a single sitting than one should. If that was the case, it'd be understandable that Netflix would want to disassociate the practice from its brand, especially given the practice could generically account for any long time spent watching television.

But that's not quite the pop culture definition that people think of with Netflix's form of binge-watching, however, which is basically watching many episodes of the same show in a short time frame. Even so, Netflix may be searching for a more fitting way to describe that action, despite the masses having already adopted the term. And people will almost certainly sniff out and destroy any attempts by Netflix to promote a new term to replace it. For that reason, "binge-watching" probably isn't going anywhere for a while, and Netflix may just need to embrace it.

The Innocents is currently streaming on Netflix, and subscribers can currently binge-watch, or marathon-partake, it if they so choose. For a look at what else is coming to the platform in the near future, be sure to visit our Netflix premiere guide. Those interested in what else is coming to television in the near future can check out our summer and fall premiere guides.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.