"If Netflix didn't sign my checks and give me a huge platform and opportunity to showcase my comedy, I would talk about how f--ked up and disrespectful this is."
Nicole Byer, host of Netflix's baking show "Nailed It!," went on a Twitter tirade against her employers over how it was promoting the show, before erasing everything after a conversation with an exec at the streaming service.
It all started when a fan pointed out that the show's thumbnail image on the streaming service didn't feature Byers at all, despite her being the "face" of the show as its outspoken host.
"I remember reading somewhere that Netflix puts men on the thumbnails of shows and movies a lot, but yo -- this is NUTS," wrote the fan who goes by the handle @dylsauce. "Nicole Byer IS 'Nailed It!.'"
The featured image does include two principal cast-members on the show, head judge Jacques Torres and assistant director Weston Barh, but the fan took issue with the lack of inclusion for Byers. It's also worth noting that Torres and Barh are white males while Byers is a black woman.
This was enough to get Byers going off on a bit of a rant, which E! News managed to capture before she backtracked and erased everything. And she framed it all in a speculative manner as if these were the things she might want to say.
"If Netflix didn't sign my checks and give me a huge platform and opportunity to showcase my comedy, I would talk about how f--ked up and disrespectful this is to me a black woman," she wrote. "Also how black women are a lot of times erased from many different conversations."
She followed that up by tweeting, "I would talk about how it makes me know my true value as the host of the show where I work incredibly hard to elevate the material given to me. Lot of moments people love are improvised."
The comedian continued ironically, "I would talk about how this essentially white washing for more views. But they sign my checks and I'm honestly so happy and grateful to and for the show and no sarcasm I love my job and wish to keep it so I'll be quiet."
Finally, she wrapped up he thoughts reiterating that she does love her job, in case anyone at Netflix was perhaps paying attention. "To be clear. I know there are thumbnails with and without my face... This one just seems for lack of a better word deliberate. Again I love my job."
But her conversation points were valid, as Netflix uses complex algorithms to try and determine what thumbnail might convince someone to click on a show. It's not great that the algorithm at least seems to be suggesting that Byer's face on an advert hurts it's chances, and especially as a woman of color.
Nevertheless, rather than just vent about Netflix and move on, Byer reached out and spoke to executives on her show about this perceived slight and got an answer she found satisfactory. As a result, she removed her prior tweets.
I deleted my last set of tweets bc I talked to one the execs on my show about it and the thrilling conclusion is the removal of the image and a conversation about how the thumbnails are made and selected that I'm happy with.
E! News further reported that the original tweeter followed Byer's lead and deleted the original tweet that stirred the whole thing up as well. The fan was clearly taking Byer at her word, as the comedian did not offer any further insight into how the algorithm worked or why she wasn't included in the thumbnails.