People Are Angry With Netflix and Calling This Show Cruel

The young cast of Stranger Things certainly seems to do no wrong. Fans love them, critics love them, and their show is coming back for a highly-anticipated third season in early July.

Gaten Matarazzo
Gaten Matarazzo host of the new show Prank Encounters | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

However, star Gaten Matarazzo raised a few eyebrows when the latest trailer for his new Netflix show, Prank Encounters, was released. The show, which is set to be released in late 2019, is a new type of prank show based on the concept of strangers who believe that they are starting a brand-new job.

Read on, and discover why many fans are taking issue with the show and with Matarazzo’s involvement.

Why is Gaten Matarazzo famous?

Born in 2002, Matarazzo started acting while still very young. He got his first taste of the limelight as an actor on Broadway, appearing in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert when he was only nine years old. Matarazzo decided that he wanted to devote his life to acting and started scoring roles on television, appearing in the popular TV show, The Blacklist

He landed the role of a lifetime in 2016 when he was cast as Dustin Henderson in the Netflix show Stranger Things. The character was one of the most popular on the show almost instantly. The young Matarazzo gained a huge following of fans on social media.

He went on to appear in the acclaimed second season of the show and will be appearing in the highly-anticipated third season. In the meantime, Matarazzo has devoted his time to other projects, including a memorable appearance in Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” music video and guesting on Lip Sync Battle along with his fellow Stranger Things cast members. 

Recently, Netflix announced that Matarazzo would be helming a brand-new show called Prank Encounters. Although the show will not be released until later in 2019, Netflix did release some information about the show. 

What is ‘Prank Encounters’ about?

Prank Encounters is scheduled for eight episodes, and it is unknown whether or not the show will be renewed for a second or third season. With Matarazzo in the lead as the show’s host, no other stars or guests have been announced yet. But, it is entirely likely that Prank Encounters might not get to that point, as many people are outraged by the premise of the show.

The official description of the show states that Prank Encounters will feature two strangers who show up to a random location, believing that they are about to start their first day of work at a new job. The description states that sometime during the course of the show, their paths “will collide” and the jobs that they believe they have landed turn into absolute nightmares. 

Why are people mad at Netflix about ‘Prank Encounters’?

Almost immediately after the show was announced, the backlash started. Social media users flooded Twitter, pointing out that if these were real people being featured in the show, it seemed very cruel to make them believe they had landed a job, only to make their lives even more difficult by “pranking” them by falsifying the job. 

Many fans were upset with Matarazzo, annoyed by the fact that he would attach his name to a concept that seems meanspirited. However, it’s entirely possible that the show could end up being slightly different than what the announcement describes – viewers will just have to wait and see.

In addition, some people have pointed out that upset critics should withhold direct criticism of Matarazzo since he might not have realized that the project could be perceived as cruel. After all, the young star is only sixteen, and still subject to a lot of influence in his career.