- "(Netflix) have no presence here, they have no employees here, they take tons of money out of the country in subscription fees and they don't even pay HST," he said.
"So if you were to take this out of the context of an argument about film and television, I would make the case that what we're talking about here is industrial dumping. We have laws against stuff like this."
- So. I was quoted in this CP story rolling out now by Victoria Ahearn.
- Some further thoughts on the subject of Netflix -- a company that takes millions out of Canada, pays zero taxes, and directly competes/harms domestic channels which have to make contributions to the production of Canadian Content:
- Many in Canada recoiled as we watched Trump be elected President in the USA. It seems like our values are diverging ever further, ever faster, from the U.S. Now is an essential time to protect and carve our a small space for our stories and storytellers to thrive. TV is the dominant storytelling medium of our age. Netflix is disruptive not just here, but in the USA and in every other territory it enters. And it's not profitable. So all of this is being done by a deep-pockets entity that's setting the boat on fire even as it relies on those ancient old timbers to keep its business model afloat.
Here's something I wrote on diverging Canadian and American values and how they relate to storytelling:
"A Canada that does not make space for its own storytellers and programs is a country that reflects issues or attitudes that are not in step with the people. In short, you’re inculcating people with narratives that are at odds with what society thinks. It’s profoundly alienating, and potentially distorting. Is crime really that high? Is immigration bad? Is that family with two kids less than you because the parents aren’t married? Everyone says that they’re not influenced by media, though study after study seems to demonstrate otherwise. But on a more basic level, the philosophical question I have is simple. What GOOD is it to give over the vast majority of your broadcast timeslots and media space to programs that don’t reflect an accurate moral compass of your people? What good comes from framing issues that are not controversial here, as still deeply divisive, because your entertainment provider hasn’t caught up?
I get that it’s popular. But is it good? Is it really what we want? And considering that a well-produced Canadian show can now routinely draw over a million viewers, even starting with a severe handicap in terms of PR and advertising, why do we blindly accept that this is the way it has to be?"
This is important. Don't believe think tanks and tenured professors telling you what "can't possibly be done." They have zero idea what they're talking about, they don't stand for your cultural legacy. And by the way, they make their arguments from their cushy jobs. Meanwhile I'm a self-employed freelancer who's auditioned -- through my writing, through my toil -- for every job I've gotten for 20 years. These forces are attacking people who are FREELANCERS. No EI, no handouts. But we're the elitists. It's maddening piffle.
If you'd like more stories like ARGO, where Ben Affleck tells a Canadian story and erases the part where the Canadians did the heroic stuff, please, support Netflix and the CRTC and their "we owe you nothing" strategy.
Or maybe take a moment to think about what storytelling really means. About why we do it. And what we as a nation get from it.
- Watch this from Penny Gummerson. It's pretty clear.