Debate over the merits of the Netflix drama “Fair Play” began soon after its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Was Chloe Domont’s film starring Phoebe Dynevor and Alden Ehrenreich more erotic thriller or social treatise on workplace inequality?
Yet another question lingered and has only picked up steam since the film’s streaming debut this month. How far over the workplace line did Dynevor’s Emily and Ehrenreich’s Luke take matters?
The Netflix-operated YouTube Channel “Still Watching Netflix” has the definitive answer for that question in a six-minute video, which you can watch above.
“It should be used solely as a training video for what not to do in the workplace,” an HR manager says in the video, while another calls it “a complete HR disaster.”
“Still Watching Netflix” screened graphic, vulgar or otherwise explicit scenes from “Fair Play” for four human resources managers to gauge their on-camera reactions. The HR experts were armed with their knowledge, skills, experience and literal red flags, which they were instructed to raise for anything workplace-inappropriate or otherwise HR actionable.
The red flags were eventually put aside when the sheer volume of flaggable incidents in “Fair Play” became evident.
“Workplace relationships, if they’re official, need to be reported to HR,” one of the managers says, starting things off mildly after a heated kiss between Emily and Luke.
“It is always better to be honest at the very beginning,” another manager says.
A third chimes in with a more salient thought.
“It sounds like a disaster already,” she remarks.
The HR managers are then left mostly speechless by a scene in which a furious hedge-fund boss takes a golf club to seemingly everything within reach.
“First of all, physical accountability. Second of all, destruction of property in the workspace,” a manager says, listing off the infractions committed.
Another scene perks the managers up, and they get down to business.
“If she comes to us in HR and explains what’s happening, she has to trust in us that there’s not going to be retaliation,” a manager says. “She can’t really make an anonymous complaint because the billionaire boss knows exactly what he said.”
“Not only can it land you personally in a lawsuit but the entire company,” a red-coated manager warns as the screenings continue.
The risqué content matter hasn’t turned off critics or scared away audiences. As of Saturday, “Fair Play” had garnered an 87% rating on Rotten Tomatoes among 202 reviews and remained on Netflix’s Top 10 films list eight days after its release on the streamer, at No. 8.
Watch the most shocking moments of “Fair Play” and the HR managers’ reactions to them at the top of this post.