Netflix has denied changing the episode order for its new sci-fi anthology series “Love, Death & Robots” based on sexual orientation.
The speculation began when Out in Tech co-founder Lukas Thoms tweeted that he noticed a difference in episode order between him and his straight friend. Thoms said that his first episode featured a lesbian storyline while his straight friend’s first episode was ”the one that has the most realistic and explicit hetero sex.” Thoms noted that his other gay friends also had the same episode featuring the lesbian storyline listed as their first episode.
On the left is my account, starting with the one with a lesbian storyline, and the right is my straight friend Andrew’s account, starting with the one that has the most realistic and explicit hetero sex. pic.twitter.com/kSMuaFhSbU— Lukas Thoms (@LukasThoms) March 19, 2019
Netflix responded that the streaming company was experimenting with episode order for the series because its an anthology show and therefore episode order isn’t as important. However, it notes that they do not have the user data to differentiate a person’s sexual orientation so the episode order was coincidental.
We’ve never had a show like Love, Death & Robots before so we’re trying something completely new: presenting four different episode orders. The version you’re shown has nothing to do with gender, ethnicity, or sexual identity — info we don’t even have in the first place.— Netflix US (@netflix) March 19, 2019
Thoms added that he had “a friend I trust at Netflix” confirm that the episode order is “a 100% random A/B test.”
A final update: a friend I trust at Netflix looked into this, and apparently the episode ordering is just a 100% random A/B test that doesn’t involve any ML. Identity-based recommendations are still a good discussion to have, in this case it was just random!— Lukas Thoms (@LukasThoms) March 19, 2019