Netflix was one of the main sponsors of the British magazine The viewerlast week’s summer party.
The timely and lively London event – which came amid Boris Johnson’s stormy overthrow as Prime Minister – brought together a number of leading figures from across Britain’s political and media landscape.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos was present at the event, which was part of a UK charm offensive. This offensive included an event at BAFTA to celebrate the charity’s Breakthrough Brits program, also sponsored by the streamer. The studio is celebrating its 10th anniversary in the UK.
Among the politicians to have attended The viewerwere former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the favorite to replace Johnson as UK leader, current Chancellor and another hopeful Prime Minister Nadhim Zahawi, former Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat (another another candidate to be the next Prime Minister) and former Health Minister Secretary Matt Hancock.
Other attendees included Boris Johnson’s sister Rachel Johnson, who hosts a telephone radio, artist and broadcaster Grayson Perry, Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon and big media beasts Nick Robinson, Laura Kuenssberg, Andrew Marr and Andrew Neill. Sarandos was pictured smiling with Zahawi and Channel 4 presenter Neil, who is also chairman of The Spectator.
Netflix has made a point of not expressing a political agenda as an organization, so the sponsorship of The viewer‘s bash raised a few eyebrows. The legendary weekly (founded in 1828) includes sections on culture and the arts, but is best known for its political commentary and conservative bent. Writing of The viewer has often been a step up the ladder to high office in the right-wing Conservative Party with former editors such as Boris Johnson, Iain Gilmour, Iain Macleod and Nigel Lawson.
We understand that Netflix promoted a number of its series and films at the event, but given the list of influential guests, it was also likely a game of favor among the movers. and the shakers of the British establishment.
Netflix has previously sponsored UK events for fashion magazine Vogue, centre-right newspaper The Evening Standard and the Oxford Literary Festival.
In the United States, according to a 2020 report on the Center for Responsive Politics website OpenSecrets, of the 17 U.S. technology companies valued at $100 billion or more, Netflix employees are the most liberal based on data from fundraiser, with 98% of their donations going to Democrats. Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings personally made major contributions to Democratic political campaigns while co-CEO Ted Sarandos hosted a major fundraiser for former President Obama.
Netflix declined to comment for this story.