top of page

Fans Take ‘Stranger Things’ Gaten Matarazzo's Side?! Controversial ‘Prank Encounters’ Netflix Series

Hm. Anyone else heard of the new Netflix series ‘Prank Encounters’? Well, it’s all over the news, and definitely for all the wrong reasons…

16 June, 2019 by Fonticha Tran

Gaten Matarrazzo, Dustin, Stranger Things
Gaten Matarazzo at the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hanger on December 11, 2016 in Santa Monica, CA — Photo by Jean_Nelson

Gaten Matarazzo, star of Stranger Things is set to executive produce and host Netflix’s new eight-episodes series ‘Prank Encounters’ which will debut later this year.

But, here’s the bad news:

It’s barely gotten a press release when a hurricane of backlash from the public splashed all over the news and social media and flooded the young star's Twitter page.

Oh dear. And what exactly has the public in an uproar?

The premise of ‘Prank Encounters’ is a hidden camera prank show that focuses on two complete strangers who thinks they’ve just started their first day at a new part-time job. Although everything starts out like normal, everything goes downhill from there and quickly spirals into nightmare...

Here's the gist: It’s supposed to include terrifying, yet hilarious pranks that'll be played on these two ‘job hunters’ who thinks they've finally just managed to land a job that will pay their rent and bills.

Hm. Anyone else sensing the bad vibe here?

Oof. Okay. So what exactly was the first reaction and then the ensuing wave of backlash?

Most fans were happy for Gaten and excited for him when they first realised he'll be hosting and executive producing a new Netflix series. That is, until they figured out the concept of the new series.

It definitely didn't take long before the public swarmed to Gaten’s twitter to let their opinions be known and boy, the majority were not happy.

"Oh good, bullying people who are already stressed out from not being able to find a job."
“I honestly can't believe this got greenlighted.”
“this might seem fun and laughable in the moment, but overall this prank does far more harm than good.”

Hm. It looks like the concept hits a little too close to home to be able to laugh at comfortably. After all, the struggles involved with unemployment never gives off a good feeling.

We agree. Uh, Netflix? …How about rethinking the concept? Or maybe scrap it entirely?

Also, some of the public have even turned against the young 'Stranger Things' star himself.

“Super classy there, kid."
"You're about to be cancelled."
"I hope you and the producers of this show get sued. This is despicable."

But fans leapt to his defence. Check out some of Gaten’s fans’ tweets:

"Welp this is unfortunate. First I will say some of yall are coming real hard against a child. [...] a kid who started making a lot of money from age 13 wouldn't have a natural understanding of the mindset of jobseekers."
"Actors in Hollywood (let alone kid actors) who aren't high-powered stars, are frequently pressured into taking roles by their agents and powerful people in the industry. [...] don't think we should write this kid off for this."
"I don't blame the kid for this. Somewhere in Netflix's boardroom, some 40 or 50 something idiot greenlit this. The child wouldn't know any better. The adult should have,"

Let’s not shadow Gaten’s career with this misstep that might've not even been within his control. At the very least, let's give the young star the benefit of the doubt and the room to learn from his mistakes. We're sure the young star is definitely taking all of this on board...

But, onto brighter news: Gaten’s ‘Work in Progress’ band is touring for the summer and they're smashing out original songs as well as popular covers.

Don’t forget to book tickets here!

Read More: Gaten Matarazzo Tours With His Band 'Work In Progress' and Stars In 'Into The Woods'

Read More: Will Zendaya Quit Twitter?!

Read More: Haters Harasses 'Number Five' Umbrella Academy, Aidan Gallager's Twitter


Fonticha Tran is a news writer at Exclusive Hollywood and is also responsible for researching and writing news articles. She also keeps track of the celebrities’ on our watchlist while monitoring their social media for any new updates.  

Fun fact: Besides constantly being on Twitter and reading up on her favourite celebrities' newest tweets, she's busy rewatching Stranger Things and The Umbrella Academy. 

bottom of page