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The Man with 1000 Kids, which hit #1 on Netflix, is leaving viewers feeling ‘so weird’

Published Jul 8th, 2024 5:13PM EDT
The Man with 1000 Kids on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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Netflix is continuing to crush it this year on the documentary front, particularly when it comes to such releases that have a powerful impact on viewers.

Just days ago, for example, the streaming giant gave us America’s Sweethearts — a seven-episode, all-access docuseries about the Dallas Cowboys cheerleading squad. Because of the grueling work that making the squad requires, as well as the low pay and ongoing scrutiny of each girl’s looks, one viewer remarked on Reddit that it’s a shocking and eye-opening series overall (“It’s abysmal that the cheerleaders work full time careers on top of all the maintenance, physical training, choreography, etc, having to be perfect, and being paid barely minimum wage when the football players make $50m salaries”).

The #1 Netflix series in the US as of this writing — another docuseries, titled The Man with 1000 Kids — is likewise eliciting the same kinds of reactions from viewers, who say that it’s leaving them speechless and feeling “so weird.”

This new docuseries, which comes from the makers of Lover, Stalker, Killer, tells the story of a group of families scammed by a man who’s secretly fathered hundreds of children around the world. The Man With 1000 Kids, Netflix says about the documentary series, “uncovers the gripping tale of a charming Dutch scammer, Jonathan Meijer, who is accused of traveling the world deceiving mothers into having his babies on a mass scale.

“The three-part series investigates the murky world of the fertility industry and uncovers how due to a lack of global regulations, some international fertility clinics continue to allow anonymous donations.”

The series got exclusive access to a group of aggrieved parents, and it uses them to help unravel the bizarre story of a YouTuber who defrauded parents all around the world. As of the July 4 weekend, Meijer was still posting regularly to YouTube (and, in fact, shared a reaction to the Netflix series, available here). According to Netflix, Meijer admitted to having “nearly 600” children in court — however, with both private and sperm bank donations, estimates suggest the number could actually be as high as 3,000.

The Dutch court also banned Meijer from donating sperm to new parents, or he’ll have to pay a penalty of 100,000 euros for each violation.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.