Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon has taken a swipe at Squid Game and Netflix during a privatisation hearing, claiming that the streaming service doesn’t touch on cultural and societal issues like their programmes do.
Discussing the possible implications of private ownership, she said that shows such as It’s A Sin, the TV film Help, the Paralympics and a Dispatches special about sexual abuse by serving police officers would not be aired by commercially minded streaming giants.
‘I don’t believe that Netflix would be making those pieces,’ she told the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee.
Mahon also referenced Squid Game, saying: ‘Squid Games is very good. It is very uplifting to see 250 people killed in the first episode. But they are not really focusing on the things that we are, like those kind of… documentaries about stop and search or things that are going on in our country. And that is important.’
The possibility of Channel 4 becoming privatised has been in the consideration of government officials for a while now, but Ms Mahon stated that it risks having a ‘negative impact on the types of content’ produced by the channel.
She added: ‘We have in our response (to the consultation) tried to focus on what the risks are in the choice that was laid out, not other things. But we would always welcome those discussions.’
Channel 4 has issued an apology for its ongoing lack of servuces (Picture: Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)
Considering the implications of privatisation, Mahon went on to say: ‘There is a real risk that if a private owner came in they would be naturally minded to maximise profit and that would have a negative impact on the types of content.
‘It would have a negative impact on the production sector, as we have talked about. We have got to be clear about that because it impacts (small companies) and it impacts out-of-London producers.
Squid Game has become a sensation (Picture: Youngkyu Park/Netflix)
‘We have been clear there will be a real risk of impacting our work in the regions, which we have only just started in – we have only just opened our big office in Leeds – and particularly on bringing young people into the sector.’
It comes after one of the broadcaster’s chief officers previously said the move to privatise the channel ‘may destroy’ it.
Squid Game has become a global phenomenon, having become the first Korean TV series to land at number one on Netflix.
Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.