According to well-known actor Guy Pearce, who stars in The Innocents, if you make a TV show for Netflix it’s made very clear that when promoting that show actors should not under any circumstances utter the words ‘binge watching.’
Before video streaming appeared, new TV series were rolled out an episode at a time over several weeks and you’d have to plan to sit down and watch them, or set a timer to record them. But now we have Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and streaming sticks plugged into every TV. A new series appearing inevitably means binge watching it all in a handful of sittings. However, it turns out Netflix really doesn’t like that term and has banned actors from using it during promotions.
As IndieWire reports, news of Netflix not liking the term binge watching comes via actor Guy Pearce, who mentioned it during an episode of The Empire Film Podcast. He explained, “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'”
Beyond that, we don’t have a reason as to why Netflix doesn’t want this specific term used, but it’s probably due to the negative connotations. Long before we had binge watching, there was binge eating and binge drinking. Doing either of those isn’t very good for your health, so it makes sense that binge watching would be viewed in the same light.
Binge watching anything shouldn’t be encouraged, so Netflix is clearly jumping on this early and asking the talent (and role models) the company employs to avoid it. Nobody should really be sitting down and remaining inactive for an entire series of Game of Thrones, for example, but we all know it’s probably going to happen and with snacking involved, too.
If you do find yourself binge watching shows on a regular basis, consider getting yourself a fitness tracker which can remind you how terrible you are being to your body. Also consider spreading out the viewing and filling the time with some exercise instead, even if that is just a brisk walk to grab yourself a coffee.