Woke streaming service, Netflix, is receiving backlash after hiring black women, only to fire them at a later date following its failed venture of launching the fan website Tudum.
As reported by TechCrunch, the company laid off staff from Tudum only five months after its launch, with ten writers, including an editorial manager, taking to social media to announce their dismissal.
A Netflix spokesperson told the publication that “Our fan website Tudum is an important priority for the company.”
In recent years, Netflix has ramped up its woke initiatives by politicizing its programming in shows like Dear White People. Notably, Netflix promoted “diversity, equity, and inclusivity” through the inclusion of a black actress in the role of a historical Viking male leader, Jarl Haakon in Vikings: Valhalla. The company has also promoted children in sexualized situations through highly-criticized shows like Cuties.
Speaking to NPR, one ex-Tudum employee said that “They went very out of their way to hire high-level journalists of color who have quite a bit of name recognition and a lot of experience and talent. In some ways, they were just buying clout to lend credibility to their gambit.”
“We were courted pretty aggressively. They sold us on the most amazing thing that you could want as a culture journalist or entertainment journalist. They just sold something that seemed impossible anywhere else,” the ex-employee said, “But the biggest selling point was the pay.”
According to the publication Madame Noire, affected staff were “full-time, part-time or on contract. Most of them had just been given promotions the month prior to lay-offs,” adding that affected staff, “were only offered two weeks of severance pay.”
“Netflix recruited me seven months ago only to lay me and a bunch of other talented people off today. I’m going to take time off to just exist, so please get in touch if you’ll have editing and content strategy opportunities open after August,” one woman tweeted along with her contact information.
Netflix’s woke initiatives have borne a heavy financial cost on the company with the loss of subscribers.
The streaming service has since axed Meghan Markle’s animated TV show for kids, The Pearl, this week. According to the Daily Mail, the show, which was part of Netflix’s multimillion-dollar deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in September 2020 were central to their plans to put them in the same league as the Obamas.
“The Pearl was Meghan's baby. Young viewers of the animated series would follow the adventures of a 12-year-old girl as she headed back in time to meet influential women from history. It would be educational, inspiring and... boring,” Joanna Williams reported for the Daily Mail. “It is only a year and a half since the agreement with Harry and Meghan, but Netflix bosses have realised there isn't a huge demand for woke cartoons. Parents park their children in front of a screen for half an hour's peace. Shows that fail to hold their interest are no use to anyone.”
“Woke hasn't gone away but the tide may be starting to turn. The good news is that when people vote with their wallets, companies that have a duty to their shareholders are forced to sit up and take notice. And if Meghan is the loser this time — well, if you have tears, prepare to shed them now,” wrote Williams.