There are many reasons why the U.S. online video-streaming service Netflix has exploded in popularity.
The series House Of Cards, for example, whose dark dramatization about a fictional White House and its Machiavellian president reportedly so intrigued Russian President Vladimir Putin that he told his new defense minister to watch it for insights into U.S. politics.
Netflix’s fan base, however, does not include Russia’s culture minister, who has now accused the company of being something more nefarious: a U.S. government plot to take over the world’s television sets.
Vladimir Medinsky, known for public statements that often veer toward the hyper-patriotic, asserted in an interview published on June 22 that Netflix is part of a U.S. government mind-control project.
“And, what, you thought these gigantic startups emerge by themselves? One schoolboy sat down, thought for a bit, and then billions of dollars rained down from above?” he was quoted as saying in the interview with the Russian news agency Rambler.
“It turns out that that our ideological friends [the U.S. government] understand perfectly well that this is the art form that is the most important,” Medinsky continued, alluding to a quotation by Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin about the influence of cinema on the masses.