On July 4th, Netflix will drop its highly anticipated third season of hit original series Stranger Things. Outside of Game of Thrones’ final season, this is the biggest TV event of the year. Unfortunately, Netflix is now experiencing an unexpected P.R. nightmare.
Recently, Deadline reported that Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo, who plays the popular character of Dustin, is set to host a hidden camera prank show for Netflix. However, the premise of the new show has earned all involved nothing but scorn.
Entitled Prank Encounters, the show’s official synopsis is as follows: “Each episode of this terrifying and hilarious prank show takes two complete strangers who each think they’re starting their first day at a new job. It’s business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares.”
Considering how crappy the job market is in the U.S. (the unemployment rate is down, but wages are stagnant, and many people have to work multiple full-time jobs to pay the bills) the premise of Prank Encounters is earning nearly universal backlash.
Matarazzo’s show – which he’ll also produce – is being slammed as meanspirited and tone-deaf from all corners of the social media landscape, and it’s hard to see how Netflix can try to flip that perception. Perhaps its best just to cancel it and move on.