Russia's culture minister says Netflix is the US government's plot to ‘get into the head of every person on Earth’
Russia's culture minister, Vladimir Medinsky, has accused the US federal government of providing support to the video streaming service Netflix, as part of a nefarious effort to “get into every television” in the world.
Medinsky said Netflix has developed its business with the support of the US government, including money and grants. “And, what, you thought these gigantic startups emerge by themselves? One little college student sits down, has himself an idea, and billions of dollars just rain down from above?!" Medinsky said in an interview to the news agency RNS.
“It turns out that our ideological friends [the US government] are well aware what constitutes the most important of all art forms [cinema, according to Vladimir Lenin], and they understand how to enter everyone's homes by getting into every television with the help of Netflix. And through this television, [they get into] the heads of everyone on Earth. But we [in Russia] don't grasp this,” Medinsky said.
Netflix is the world's largest streaming movie and television-show company. In early 2016, it launched a worldwide service, expanding its reach to Russia, as well. Within a month, Russian businesses appealed to state officials for protectionist regulations designed to weaken Netflix's domestic competitiveness. State censors and federal tax officials have asked to meet with Netflix, and the company has expressed its willingness to attend such meetings.