Netflix's tough new policy on staring, flirting and hugs

Netflix staff have been given a new code of conduct around sexual harassment.
Netflix staff have been given a new code of conduct around sexual harassment. Photo credit: AP

Netflix has implemented a new sexual harassment policy for its staff, including how long they can stare at co-workers without being deemed "creepy".

The streaming service's new rules around workplace behaviour are a direct result of the #MeToo movement, which has taken the world by storm in the last year.

In the wake of allegations of abuse against powerful figures in the entertainment industry such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, Netflix has rolled out a new code of conduct for employees working on filming sets or at the company's California headquarters.

An unnamed on-set runner working on the upcoming season of dystopian drama Black Mirror said senior staff were told about the new policy in a 'harassment meeting'.

"Looking at anyone longer than five seconds is considered creepy," they told The Sun.

"It has sparked jokes, with people looking at each other, counting to five, then diverting their eyes."

Employees have been told not to give one another "lingering hugs" and not to ask someone out again if they have previously said no to a date.

Asking for someone's number is forbidden unless the person has given permission for it to be distributed is also forbidden.

Staff members who witness breaches of conduct or are feeling uncomfortable are encouraged to shout the phrase 'Stop! Don't do that again!' and any behaviour that could be seen as harassment must be reported immediately.

In a statement provided to The Sun, Netflix said the company was proud of its anti-harassment training.

"We want every Netflix production to be a safe and respectful working environment," it says.

"We believe the resources we offer empower people on our sets to speak up, and shouldn't be trivialised."

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