Netflix is defending its controversial new prank show starring Stranger Things actor Gaten Matarazzo following backlash the project received for tricking people who are looking for work.
The streaming giant announced on Friday that eight episodes of Prank Encounters would launch sometime this year, with 16-year-old Matarazzo serving as both host and executive producer.
Netflix representatives said the "terrifying and hilarious" pranks would be played on "two complete strangers who each think they're starting their first day at a new job."
"It's business as usual until their paths collide and these part-time jobs turn into full-time nightmares," they added.
Many people were quick to take umbrage with Netflix and Matarazzo, one of Hollywood's wealthiest young stars, for playing pranks on vulnerable people looking for work.
But in a statement to BuzzFeed News, a Netflix spokesperson sought to clarify the original description of the show's premise, which stated the people were starting their "first day at a new job."
“The pranks in Prank Encounters are spooky, supernatural, and over the top, and everyone had a great time," the spokesperson said. "All participants came in with the expectation this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time.”
The spokesperson declined to answer additional questions about how the jobs were marketed to those seeking work. Netflix also declined to make any of the pranked people available for an interview.
Representatives for Matarazzo have not responded to requests for comment.