Netflix is denying accusations that the order in which its new animated anthology, Love, Death & Robots, is presented is based on each viewer’s sexual orientation.
The curious issue came to light when Out in Tech cofounder/LGBTQ+ tech advocate Lukas Thoms suggested on Twitter that Love, Death & Robots changes up the episode order “based on whether Netflix thinks you’re gay or straight.” Thoms shared side-by-side screen grabs of playlists that open with the official first episode, “Sonnie’s Edge” (in which the titular lesbian hero braves an underground world of “beastie” fights), or, as he put it, one that features “the most realistic and explicit hetero sex.”
There are reports that the episode order for Queer Eye‘s new season on Netflix is similarly shuffled.
“We’ve never had a show like Love, Death & Robots before so we’re trying something completely new: presenting four different episode orders,” Netflix explained on Twitter. “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.”
The “info we don’t even have” part of the streaming giant’s defense has drawn more than a bit of side-eye since, as Tech Crunch notes, Netflix’s TV show and movie recommendations — including the photos/actors used to promote them — are clearly customized based on aggregated user data.
Netflix, though, maintains the Love, Death & Robots issue isn’t about guessing at your sexuality, but just an experiment with non-serialized programming. As it told Tech Crunch, “We want to showcase the variety of shorts within the anthology series in different ways and see what works for our members.”