Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings’ Stanford commencement speech leaked

Humor by Cassidy Dalva
April 19, 2022, 4:58 p.m.

Earlier this month, Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings M.S. ’88 was announced as one of two speakers for Stanford’s 131st Commencement in June. In an accidental leak on Hastings’ Twitter account, a screenshot containing excerpts of his speech was rendered visible to the public for several hours before the post was taken down.

The leaked speech touched on themes of growth and accountability.

“As you enter the world, you rise to the occasion of taking big steps that you may not have been ready for before,” read one excerpt. “You’ve been logged onto your freshman year roommate’s Netflix account since 2018, but now it’s time for you to pave your own path and be the master of your own subscription.”

The excerpts also celebrated students’ strength and resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our compilations of data suggest that, during the pandemic, many of you spent upward of 15-20 hours per week watching Tiger King and Bridgerton,” the excerpt continued. “I hope that the tools of escapism and suspension of reality that you relied upon so heavily while attending classes remotely will continue to serve you well into the future.”

Stanford students have already taken to social media in response to the leak.

“Seeing the speech reminded me that I’ll be out in the real world in just a few months,” senior Paul Yoon said. “I was originally thinking of going straight to graduate school, but I think some time in industry will get me on the premium Netflix plan much faster.”

Hastings took to Twitter to apologize for the slip and remind his followers that the speech in its entirety is not yet available.

“If you liked the teaser, stay tuned,” Hastings wrote. “The full address will be streaming exclusively on Netflix starting June 11, 2022.”

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only.

Cassidy Dalva '25 is a beat reporter in the News section covering faculty affairs and a staff writer for the Humor section. A prospective economics major from Los Angeles, California, Cassidy enjoys singing and spending time outdoors in her free time. Contact her at [email protected]

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