Back in January of 2021 GameStop’s stock price exploded as Reddit trolls went to war with old-school investors after the latter bet on the company failing. Reddit et al called their bluff, and well, it’s now the stuff of documentary films. Speaking of, Netflix just released a new trailer for its upcoming documentary about the wild “gamestonks” saga, and it’s made some of the trollish Redditors who were involved in all this very mad. So mad, they’re threatening to cancel their streaming subscriptions.
Let’s rewind real quick to (briefly) explain what the hell happened back in January 2021.
At the beginning of the year, GameStop’s stock was trading at under $20 a share, and the brick-and-mortar retail chain it was attached to was in desperate need of a Plan B. But when institutional investors began short-selling the stock—effectively betting that the company was overvalued and would soon implode—-something odd happened: Its stock price more than tripled in value, reaching just over $73 on January 22, 2021.
Why? A bunch of retail investors on Reddit and TikTok believed that GameStop was more valuable than the shorters were claiming and began buying up its stock. This had the effect of raising the price for the institutional investors betting on its failure, who suddenly had to cover the price difference or eat the costs. Eventually, too many rich people got screwed so stock-trading apps like Robinhood blocked users from buying more GameStop assets and the whole thing became a terrible mess, a perfect example of the hellscape that is modern-day capitalism.
It’s definitely an exciting, wild story filled with twists and turns. That could make for a good documentary! So, that’s exactly what Netflix is doing (and what HBO Max did six months ago…) and now we have this trailer for the upcoming Eat the Rich: The GameStop Saga.
Boy, the stock bros and Redditors really, really hate it.
Over on r/SuperStonk—the main GameStop stock theory-crafting subreddit (yes, that’s a real thing)—you can find numerous, highly upvoted, and popular posts declaring that the doc is a “bad portrayal” of retail investors, with many imploring all who’ll listen to cancel their Netflix accounts in retaliation.
Stonk bros are mad at the doc for a few different reasons, but the two big things that keep coming up are the supposed lack of input from investors on r/SuperStonk and r/WallStreetBets and because of the final line of the trailer, spoken by journalist Taylor Lorenz. The trailer ends with her seemingly poking fun at the Redditors who set out to fight the GameStop short sellers, saying, “Yolo, let’s destroy the economy.” That line seems to have really angered a particular group of Reddit investors.
“I’m ready to cancel Netflix anyways…yolo lady gave me a reason. Slater Netflix,” said one user on r/SuperStonk. “Cancel Netflix and use that money to buy GME [stock]?” replied another. Of course, very few have shared images or other evidence proving that they have canceled their subscriptions, or that they even had one to begin with. And other users on r/SuperStonk expressed disbelief at the idea of people canceling a sub over a documentary that hadn’t even been released yet.
Still, over on Twitter, you can find tons of angry replies to Netflix’s trailer, with people claiming it’s just a hit job meant to make retail investors look terrible. Even Taylor Lorenz has come out and clarified that she is adamantly opposed to the broken and unfair economic system of Wall Street, calling it “undeniably unhealthy.” But that doesn’t matter to angry investors. I guess all you need is one soundbite from an unreleased movie’s trailer to know it’s a hit piece.