The Big Mood: being sued for watching so much Friends at work

One week, one mood: Moya Lothian-Mclean’s deep-dive into the feel of the week.

Starting this column was difficult this week, as it is every week because I don’t want to do any work! Ever! Unfortunately, I’ve backed myself into a corner as my self-employed status means that I only get paid for what I actually do. 

I’m not securing the bag by scrolling Twitter for three hours or receiving a set monthly salary no matter how much time I lose to internet wormholes. If I was being paid irrespective of what I do between 9am and 5pm, I would absolutely make like Chase Robinson, a former vice-president of Robert De Niro’s production studio who is apparently being sued for watching an insane amount of Friends on Netflix (and also some light expenses fraud to the tune of hundreds of thousands“). 

But let’s be real, it’s mainly the Netflix that rankles.

According to the lawsuit, Robinson basically cosplayed as any 20-something on a comedown. While supposedly working, she managed to slog through an astonishing amount of Friends. During one four day period she watched 55 episodes. One single Saturday saw her sit through a further 32 episodes. Do you know how much Friends that is? I can’t do maths, so I don’t. But it’s a lot of Friends. At least two seasons of Friends in one day! Some would say that is too much Friends.

While she did also sprinkle in other shows — Arrested Development and Schitt’s Creek were also namechecked (Chase, let us be pals) — Friends was the primary time sponge. 

This, comrades, is what the fight against capitalism looks like. Not only did Robinson say No, I shall not be forced to exchange my labour for money against my will” via the medium of rinsing the company Netflix account, but her choice of show was the cherry on top. 

She’s seen Friends. Everyone’s seen Friends. All 10 seasons, at least three times. You don’t watch Friends to pay attention or even enjoy it; at this stage Friends is mind-numbing white noise. You may as well be lying on your bed in a towel, staring at the wall for all the stimulation you’re getting. To pick Friends as the show with which to (allegedly) exploit the company you’re working at is fuck you, pay me (for watching Friends)” energy of the highest order.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s time for everyone to follow suit. With the announcement that the government want to keep our fingers toiling until we’re seventy-fucking-five, Brexit predicted to throw all our industries into chaos and a rise in terrible, tenuous contracts that pay poorly and treat workers even worse, we need to down tools, fire up Netflix and say: No more”. Until we get living wages, four day work weeks and subsidised commuting, find us in Central Perk with the rest of the gang.

Big fucking Mood. 


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