At this point, it’s not fair to say Netflix can’t catch a break; it’s more like Netflix is actively smashing breaks on the floor in a frantic effort to appease shareholders. Deadline first reported that the troubled media giant is eliminating 150 jobs as of May 17, many of them higher-up roles in original-content programming. “As we explained on earnings, our slowing revenue growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “So sadly, we are letting around 150 employees go today, mostly U.S.-based.” The Netflix spokesperson said the company is “working hard” to support those laid off “through this very difficult transition.” Among the more senior staff let go this round, according to Deadline, are the directors of Netflix original series, original comedy series, and spectacle and event TV. Vulture has reached out for a statement.
The layoffs follow those in the animation division and at Tudum in response to plummeting stock prices. Share values tanked after an April Q1 earnings meeting in which Netflix announced for the first time that it had lost subscribers. Now, in an effort to stanch revenue loss, the company is trying everything from cracking down on password sharing to introducing an ad tier to mass layoffs. What it won’t be doing any time soon is expanding its content offerings. Netflix simultaneously axed several projects on May 17, including the Ibram X. Kendi projects Antiracist Baby, an animated preschool series, and Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, a companion to Stamped From the Beginning, a documentary–scripted-feature hybrid that is still going forward as of now.
Budget cuts have yet to win back shareholders. On May 4, they filed a lawsuit over subscriber losses. And sure, breaking up shared accounts will create some new subscribers, but we can’t imagine how slashing original-content programming will lead to a boom in new viewers.