After the utterly ugh-worthy news that Adam Sandler’s super-racist comedy Ridiculous Six broke Netflix viewing records in its first 30 days, I should have seen this coming–but I still groaned when I read that Netflix will produce and finance four more Sandler films.
This will bring Netflix’s total for original Sandler films to eight. They originally signed a four-movie deal with Sandler back in 2014, and that partnership has thus far given us The Ridiculous Six, The Do-Over, and Sandy Wexler (debuting April 14).
While critics didn’t like either released film, and The Ridiculous 6 faced a cast walkout over its racism, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, touted the film’s successes. “The Ridiculous Six, by way of example, in the first 30 days on Netflix it’s been the most-watched movie in the history of Netflix,” he said in January 2016. “It’s also enjoyed a spot at #1 in every territory we operate in, and in many of them it’s still #1.”
“Adam believes his audience is mostly at home and he’s probably right,” Sarandos also said in an earlier 2015 interview.
As Variety observed, Sandler might have been a powerhouse in the ’90s, but his recent theatrical releases haven’t been successful. 2014’S Blended was an out-and-out bomb, and 2015’s Pixels was a disappointment. If Netflix is happy with his numbers, it’s probably the place that makes the most sense for him.
Sandler said in a statement: “Love working with Netflix and collaborating with them. I love how passionate they are about making movies and getting them out there for the whole world to see. They’ve made me feel like family and I can’t thank them enough for their support.”
Unfortunately, what Sandler could have used from Netflix was a little less support and a little more forced cultural sensitivity. Look, I know that some people enjoy Sandler’s humor, but…it’s just not a good look when someone gets rewarded for making a movie as racist as The Ridiculous Six.
(Via Variety; image via Netflix/Happy Madison Productions)
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