BP #3: Lawsuit Between 21st Century Fox & Netflix

I came into contact with an article from The Wall Street Journal, 21st Century Fox Sues Netflix for Poaching Employees. As you can tell from the article’s name, there is something brewing between Fox and Netflix.

What is Happening Between Netflix & 21st Century Fox?

As of Friday, September 16, 21st Century Fox is in a lawsuit with Netflix Inc. 21st Century Fox is suing Netflix on the grounds of illegally hiring two of their executives who are still under contract.


Virtue in ethics emphasizes the roles of our character and the virtues that our character embodies for determining ethical behavior. They  are like skills; ways of thinking that help us decide what to do under particular circumstances and each virtue has a spectrum of extremes ranging from it.

Is 21st Century Fox showing virtue?

Fox is displaying the moral and intellectual virtue of responsibility. Responsibility is a state of being accountable. In this case, Fox is taking this virtue as abiding by a legal contract. They are taking a position to stand up for their company and holding all contracted employees accountable to uphold their contracts out of responsibility.

It is virtuous of Fox to uphold their standards of responsibility. But, is the company fighting the battle with the correct people? If Fox was this upset about loosing two contracted executive employees, wouldn’t they be filing a suit against those specific contract breakers?

This is where Fox’s virtuous battle gets a bit confusing. One of the two employees at hand only had a year left with 21st Century Fox. Is it safe to say that Fox was already having to plan for this employee’s departure? And, it is documented that in the past two years Netflix has hired on nineteen other former Fox employees who were without contract. Maybe this lawsuit is about something more than holding employees responsible. Maybe Fox is showing  envy; an extreme of the virtue temperance, towards Netflix’s success and is trying to stir the pot.

Is Netflix displaying virtue?

Fox wants to hold Netflix morally as well as intellectually responsible, blaming them for their wrong doing of breaking employees’ contracts.

Netflix is possessing a separate moral virtue, fairness, in regards to the employees themselves. As  I read in The Wall Street Journal, a Netflix spokes person came out saying: “We believe in employee mobility and will fight for the right to hire great colleagues no matter where they work.”

Netflix is standing up for their belief for employees to have the freedom to choose where they are employed in their careers. Morally, the virtue of fairness extends to everyone without discrimination.

Netflix hasn’t only hired former Fox employees. Many of their employees stem from other big television companies. You may feel like Netflix is not showing the virtue of fairness to other companies. We should remember that Netflix is a new company as compared to the rest of their television competitors. To hire good talent, they would need people with experience in their field of work, hence why they would be hiring employees of companies such as Fox. I would say that this would be Netflix treating all individuals in their niche of the workforce with fairness.

Maybe it is the other networks that are not displaying fairness towards Netflix? Can we question Netflix’s motives in hiring Fox executives who are still under contract? Is Netflix in the wrong?

What do you think? Comment below.


Source: 21st Century Fox Sues Netflix for Poaching Employees


2 thoughts on “BP #3: Lawsuit Between 21st Century Fox & Netflix

  1. Nice article and ethical analysis. It is important that means of communication through media obtain some standards because they heavily shape our youth and society as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an avid Netflix user, my opinion may be a little biased, but I definitely agree that 21st Century Fox is displaying a bit of envy. It interests me that all these employees seem to be switching over to Netflix and does make me question Fox’s employment environment. There must be a reason that these ex employees keep leaving. Is it money? A better work environment? Who knows. It almost seems advantageous of Netflix to choose employees from a production company. Very interesting article. I enjoyed the precise layout and analysis of virtue from both sides!

    Liked by 1 person

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