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That Kid From "Stranger Things" Has A New Prank Show That Tricks People Trying To Find Work

After Gaten Matarazzo shared the news on Twitter on Friday, many users hit back against the idea of playing pranks on vulnerable people looking for work.

Posted on June 15, 2019, at 12:16 p.m. ET

Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

Gaten Matarazzo, best known for his role as Dustin on Stranger Things, will be hosting a new prank show for Netflix that involves tricking people who are looking for work โ€” a concept that is now being harshly criticized.

Eight episodes of Prank Encounters will launch on the streaming service later this year, Netflix announced in a press release on Friday.

"Each episode of this terrifying and hilarious prank show takes two complete strangers who each think they're starting their first day at a new job," Netflix representatives said. "It's business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares."

In addition to hosting the show, 16-year-old Matarazzo will serve as one of the executive producers.

There's no further information about how the show will work or what compensation, if any, the unsuspecting job-seekers will receive for being made fools of. Representatives for Matarazzo and Netflix didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Rich Polk / Getty Images

But after Deadline first reported the show's existence, other media outlets were quick to criticize it. Vulture said the show sounded "like a Black Mirror episode," while the AV Club declared, "This is a far scarier premise than any monster thatโ€™s ever crawled out of the Upside Down. Demogorgon might take your buddies, but at least he doesnโ€™t screw with you while youโ€™re trying to make rent."

After Matarazzo shared the news on Twitter on Friday, his mentions were full of people criticizing the concept. Many users were offended by the idea of playing pranks on vulnerable people looking for work.

@GatenM123 Hey Gaten, this isnโ€™t the group of people to be pulling โ€œpranksโ€ on. Please reconsider this one. Punch up, not down.

@GatenM123 great, something else for the unemployed to worry about. ๐Ÿ™„

Some people compared the premise of the show to tricking people looking for medical care.

@GatenM123 Is your next project going to be about pranking people who think a cure has been found for a terminal disease? There are so many people involved in this show who should have known how cruel this idea was. Please re-think this, both for your career and...for your soul.

@TheAVClub Way cool! ๐Ÿค™ This will be a great companion piece to my new Netflix show where I fuck with people seeking medical care. Wait til you see the looks on their desperate, American faces when they find out I'm not a doctor! ๐Ÿ˜œ

People who have struggled with being unemployed also appealed to the young actor to reconsider.

@TheAVClub Gaten, you seem like a cool kid, but please don't. As someone who is currently unemployed, this just comes across as unnecessarily cruel.

@TheAVClub Hey @netflix great job. I struggled to find work for a year and it drove me to the brink.

Matarazzo is a leading young actor in the industry and was recognized last year by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the top 30 stars under 18.

Deadline reported last year that Matarazzo and several other young Stranger Things stars were paid more than $200,000 per episode for the show's third season, which begins streaming July 4.

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