Netflix reportedly had an internal debate after its testing favoured 'Grace and Frankie' promos without Jane Fonda

Melissa Moseley / Netflix
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, Netflix tests showed that users were more likely to click on images for “Grace and Frankie” that didn’t include actress Jane Fonda.
  • This prompted a debate between its content and tech teams, the Journal reported.

Netflix’s algorithm reportedly put the streaming giant between a rock and a hard place when it came to its original series, “Grace and Frankie.”

The show stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two women who find out their husbands are having an affair with one another. According to The Wall Street Journal, which cited anonymous sources close to the discussions, Netflix’s tech side found that users were more likely to click on promotion for the show that didn’t include Fonda.

The Journal reported that this finding prompted an internal debate within the company between Netflix’s content team, which didn’t want to anger Fonda and argued that it could be a violation of her contract, and its tech team, which stressed the importance of the data.

Netflix ultimately decided to include images of Fonda, according to the Journal, but it shows how Netflix’s Hollywood side and its Silicon Valley side can come into conflict as the streamer leans more into original shows and movies that include top talent.

“We’ve been honored to have a groundbreaking collaboration with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin that is going on six seasons,” Netflix said in a statement to Business Insider. “While we always test various creative images for every show on our service, both Jane and Lily have been part of our promotion of the show from the beginning.”

“Grace and Frankie” returns in 2019 for its fifth season.

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