Stranger Things star Gaten Matarazzo defends Netflix prank show after backlash

Gaten Matarazzo has defended his new Netflix show Prank Encounters following growing criticism.

The 16-year-old actor, known for playing Dustin in Stranger Things, acts as host and executive producer on the new eight-episode series set to launch on Netflix later this year.

Following the hidden-camera show’s announcement, many criticised the series after a synopsis indicated it was playing ‘terrifying and hilarious pranks’ on job seekers at the first day of a new job.

Matarazzo has since addressed the criticism in a video on Instagram, saying: ‘Right now I’m in Korea on a press tour and I’m making this video to address some of the negativity that’s been surrounding the new prank show that I’m doing called Prank Encounters which is going to be on Netflix.

‘I think I just want to clear up a bit of confusion about the show. I just want to let everybody know that those who participated were fully aware it was going to be a one-day gig going in, nobody was promised a part time or full time job, and everybody was compensated.

‘Those who did participate had an amazing time, although the pranks are scary and over the top and nothing has really been done like them before, everybody enjoyed them very, very much and when all was said and done, everybody was laughing and having a great time and everybody left the set happy and satisfied.’

He added: ‘I really, really appreciate your concern for these people and their well-being and we really hope that you have as much fun watching the show as we did making it. Thank you guys so, so much.’

Netflix has also responded to the growing concern in a statement, which reads: ‘The pranks in Prank Encounters are spooky, supernatural, and over the top, and everyone had a great time.

‘All participants came in with the expectation this was a one-day, hourly gig and everyone got paid for their time.’

The series marks Matarazzo’s first Netflix show outside of Stranger Things, which is set to return for its third season next month.

Prank Encounters is scheduled to launch later this year on Netflix.

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