Film and TV stars attack Netflix over new speed feature
Film makers and actors have attacked Netflix over a new feature which allows customers to speed up or slow down TV shows and movies.
Some viewers are able to watch content on their mobile from half the normal speed to one-and-a-half times faster.
The feature is currently being trialled and is reportedly only available to Android users.
Keela Robison, vice-president of the steaming service, said: “It’s a feature that has long been available on DVD players – and has been frequently requested by our members.
“For example, people looking to rewatch their favourite scene or wanting to go slower because it’s a foreign language title.”
But Hollywood has hit out at Netflix’s decision, as stars express their concerns about the move.
Brad Bird, the director of The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, tweeted: “Another spectacularly bad idea, and another cut to the already bleeding-out cinema experience.
“Why support and finance visions on one hand and then work to destroy the presentation of those films on the other???”
Fellow director Judd Apatow, who made Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, wrote: “No @netflix no. Don’t make me have to call every director and show creator on Earth to fight you on this.
“Save me the time. I will win but it will take a ton of time. Don’t f*** with our timing. We give you nice things. Leave them as they were intended to be seen.”
Don’t doubt that if we all don’t make noise every streamer will try to do something this ridiculous and insulting.If they remove the credits or speed through them they will speed up a show. @YouTube already does this. Do show runners know this? They will see that as the way in. https://t.co/H2Pr6wBp2T
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) October 28, 2019
Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul, who recently starred in a follow-up to the hit US drama called El Camino, tweeted: “Stop. There is NO WAY @netflix will move forward with this.
“That would mean they are completely taking control of everyone else’s art and destroying it. Netflix is far better than that. Am I right Netflix?”
Stop. As the person talked about in this article I felt the need to speak out. There is NO WAY @netflix will move forward with this. That would mean they are completely taking control of everyone else’s art and destroying it. Netflix is far better than that. Am I right Netflix?🎥 https://t.co/fZDnYzvStN
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) October 28, 2019
Supporters argue that the feature is useful when it comes to binge-watching lots of series more quickly than at normal speed.
The company’s Keela Robison admitted that not everyone backed the feature.
She said tests have “generated a fair amount of feedback – both for and against”.
She added: “We’ve been sensitive to creator concerns and haven’t included bigger screens, in particular TVs, in this test.”
Addressing concerns that the actors may sound too high-pitched or low-pitched when played at variable speeds, she said: “We’ve also automatically corrected the pitch in the audio at faster and slower speeds.”
And Ms Robison said the feature may not in the end be introduced to everyone – as it would “depend on the feedback we receive”.