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HOME Campus Guest Reporter
Your OTT Platforms Are Turning Green
(netflix.com)

Being eco-friendly has always been a trend among the media, but it has never been this popular. Nowadays, everyone knows that environmental issues cannot be resolved solely through individual actions, such as buying reusable cups and tote bags. The word “climate crisis” has replaced the traditional term “global warming,” representing the immediate dangers Earth is currently facing. Furthermore, red lights flickering in the public’s minds have caused over-the-top (OTT) platforms to engage in media related to environmental problems. Therefore, through this article, the Sungkyun Times (SKT) will investigate the green bandwagon these companies are eager to jump on.

Big Boys Introduce Environment-Related Programs

There is no doubt that the climate crisis is changing our media culture. Several “big boys” within the OTT industry have been introducing content related to the current crisis. For instance, Saving My Tomorrow, a series of documentaries filmed by Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming platform, HBO Max, in 2014, conveyed touching footage of young activists trying to protect their home planet from deteriorating. Also, Apple TV+, an OTT platform created by the global digital company Apple, released the documentary The Year Earth Changed on April 16th, 2021. The program shows positive changes caused by reduced human impacts on nature during the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Finally, most recently, TVING, a popular Korean OTT platform, has been importing a movie titled Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World. The film depicts a teenage girl who has been protesting climate change since June 2021.

One of the Most Popular OTT Platforms, Netflix (unsplash.com)

Netflix and Nature

Marine Debris (unsplash.com)

Recently, Netflix, the global OTT platform, has even proposed “sustainability” as one of its representative values. The platform showed its aspirations through its official website, saying, “Netflix exists to entertain the world, and that requires a habitable world to entertain.” As such, Netflix offers documentary series and movies about nature and ecology, including A Life on Our Planet, Chasing Coral, and Seaspiracy. A Life on Our Planet captures the moment where the environment is harmed by how humans live. David Attenborough, the 93-year-old narrator of this movie, delivers the stern warning that humankind must stop this irreversible downfall of mother nature. He shows how the environment has changed with human history by developing untouched lands and how this has led to a decline in biological diversity. Chasing Coral depicts a journey into a dying sea. A group of “coral nerds,” a team consisting of camera design experts, marine biologists, and a former advertising agency employee, work together to devise a special underwater camera that seizes the scene of bleaching coral reefs. The research team filmed dead white corals and an empty underwater colony that once was a cradle of life. Seaspiracy is a documentary film that reveals a shocking revelation. The title, a combination of “sea” and “conspiracy,” suggests that the main reason for marine pollution is not plastic straws and disposable bags; it is the seafood industry. Furthermore, it even accuses some environmental organizations of having an unpleasant connection with the industry, hiding the truth that humans will soon face an empty ocean if we keep harming the residents of the sea. The production crew emphasizes that 70% of the macro plastic in the ocean is from fishing gear.

From Time-Killing to Day-Saving

One might think, “I did not sign up for Netflix to get climate depression; all I wanted was to watch fun television shows.” Here, climate depression refers to a mental disorder caused by feeling helpless and deeply sad about climate change. However, even if one may want to turn their face away from such depressing news, the time has come to face the current problems and choose the next steps humanity should take. These days, more and more people are starting to figure out what is happening, listen to what scientists say, and act on the urgent situation that is slowly damaging the planet we love. These citizens worldwide are steadily creating a giant wave, and the media industry is also riding on this surge of attention for environmental issues. The documentaries introduced above not only alert the public to the current situation but also encourage ordinary people to change their attitudes, connect with each other, and educate others to pursue a sustainable way of living.

OTT platforms are more than just a time-killing friend that keeps you company whenever you eat alone. They are a window that informs and advises you on what to do when you decide to be a day-saver. Therefore, if you have some time to spare this weekend, how about searching the word “environment” on Netflix or Apple TV+?

곽윤서  ellykwak19@g.skku.edu

<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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