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September 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

A promotional event in Toronto for the launch of Netflix’s Canadian service on Wednesday backfired when it turned out that many people in the crowd being interviewed by reporters were actually paid extras. The Toronto Globe & Mail learned that the extras had received printed instructions to “play types, for example, mothers, film buffs, tech geeks, couch potatoes etc. … Extras are to behave as members of the public, out and about enjoying their day-to-day life, who happen upon a street event for Netflix and stop by to check it out. Extras are to look really excited, particularly if asked by media to do any interviews about the prospect of Netflix in Canada.” The ruse became undone when word about it was posted on Twitter. Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey later told the Globe & Mail: “Some people got carried away, and it’s embarrassing to Netflix.”