News that Netflix would be teaming with Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo on a new prank show, Prank Encounters, was met with frustration when it was officially announced last week. Many found the series to be cruel, citing the show's premise of pranking people who are looking for work. Despite the outcry, however, Netflix remained mum until today.
The streaming giant has now released a short statement to try and ease the frustrations of viewers, explaining that all participants were compensated for their work, understanding that it was a one-time gig.
"The pranks in Prank Encounters are spooky, supernatural and over the top, and everyone had a great time," a Netflix spokesperson explained. "All participants came in with the expectation that this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time."
When Prank Encounters was announced, the synopsis for the 8-episode series hinted that it would feature strangers who believed they were starting their first day at a new job. At some point, the strangers would come face-to-face and see what they believed to be a part-time job turn into what is described as a full-time nightmare.
The issue many took with the series was that it appeared to be focusing on people that were looking for a job, only to find they'd been lied to for the sake of television. However, Netflix's statement would suggest that all parties were aware this was a one-day job and would be paid for their time when all was said and done.
Matarazzo, who will serve as the host and an executive producer on the series, still hasn't commented on the backlash. However, that could be due to the fact that he's currently on the press tour for the third season of Stranger Things for, which is due to hit Netflix this July. Still, one could image he'll be asked to address the concerns at some point on said tour.
A release date for Prank Encounters has not yet been unveiled, however, it is expected to premiere later this year.