news 1 month ago

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Donates $1 Million to Police-Reform Research Group

Variety — Todd Spangler

Reed Hastings, chairman and CEO of Netflix, donated $1 million to a research organization dedicated to fighting racial bias in American law enforcement using data science.

The exec’s donation to the Center for Policing Equity was announced Tuesday evening, amid continuing nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who died while in police custody.

“Great organization that has been working on this big problem for a decade,” Hastings tweeted Tuesday about his donation. He directed people to check out the TED Talk by Phillip Atiba Goff, CEO and co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity, from April 2019, titled “How we can make racism a solvable problem — and improve policing.”

Hastings’ contribution to the group represents a small fraction of his total net worth, which is currently estimated at $5.24 billion, per Bloomberg.

Netflix was among the first media and entertainment companies to voice support for the Black Lives Matter movement amid growing protests over Floyd’s death, which has been ruled a homicide. “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter,” Netflix said in a May 30 tweet. “We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.”

Last month, Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin, donated $30 million to Gavi Alliance, the nonprofit immunization organization started by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gavi Alliance says it helps fund immunization programs in lower-income countries.

Hastings also has given $1 million in COVID-19 relief support to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s LA Students Most in Need fund and $1 million to a group called One Family LA.

According to Center for Policing Equity research, Black Americans are two to four times more likely than than white Americans to have force used against them in an encounter with law enforcement. The org says in the last 10 years it was worked with more than 25 police departments across the U.S. on “data-driven interventions.”

“We’re so proud to have @reedhastings supporting our work to reform policing,” the Center for Policing Equity tweeted Tuesday. “His grant of $1 million will go directly toward helping us empower communities to hold law enforcement accountable to the values of equity and justice.”

New York-based Center for Policing Equity describes itself as a “research and action think tank” that produces research identifying and reducing the causes of racial disparities in law enforcement. CPE’s roots date back to Stanford University’s Policing and Racial Bias Conference in 2004, led by Stanford U. Prof. Jennifer Lynn Eberhardt.

Hastings has long been an active educational philanthropist, and currently serves on the board of several educational organizations including the City Fund, KIPP, and Pahara.

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.