News that Netflix would be teaming with Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo on a new prank show, Prank Encounters, was met with frustration when it was officially announced last week.
Many found the series to be cruel, citing the show’s premise of pranking people who are looking for work. Despite the outcry, however, Netflix remained mum until today.
In response to the social media backlash against the premise of Prank Encounters, a Netflix spokesperson issued the following statement: “The pranks in Prank Encounters are spooky, supernatural, and over the top, and everyone had a great time. All participants came in with the expectation this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time.“
When Prank Encounters was announced, the synopsis for the 8-episode series hinted that it would feature strangers who believed they were starting their first day at a new job. At some point, the strangers would come face-to-face and see what they believed to be a part-time job turn into what is described as a full-time nightmare.
When he’s not acting in Stranger Things, Matarazzo raises awareness about cleidocranial dysplasia (CDD), a rare genetic condition he has that affects the development of the bones and teeth. A couple of years ago, he joined forces with a Utah-based doctor to launch a charity called CCD Smiles which supports individuals with the condition by raising money to fund oral surgeries.
A release date for Prank Encounters has not yet been unveiled, however, it is expected to premiere later this year.