Netflix has cancelled a number of animated and movie projects in the works at the studio, including a new documentary that was set to delve into racism in the US.
As reported by Variety (opens in new tab), both the animated series Antiracist Baby and Wings of Fire were planned to debut on the streaming platform with a target audience of preschoolers, however, will no longer be proceeding forward. Ava DuVernay was on board to serve as executive producer for the latter, best known for Netflix drama When They See Us and the Oscar-nominated film Selma.
Another project that has been scrapped was said to be a documentary tackling racism in the US named Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You. It was set to be a "companion piece" to Stamped From the Beginning, based on the book from acclaimed author and antiracist scholar Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Netflix partnered with Kendi in January last year to work on these two projects as well as Antiracist Baby but now it seems only the original idea will be made.
Finally, a movie based on the children's book With Kind Regards From Kindergarten has been scrapped. It was set to be aimed at youngsters and tell the story of two friends as one loses their imagination.
Netflix sources say that these decisions were not related to finances at the company, instead strictly down to creative differences. It was also noted that animation has a "longer gestation period" as opposed to live-action and that factor was taken into consideration.
Even so, this news comes alongside the further Variety (opens in new tab) report that Netflix has cut approximately 150 employees and around 70 part-jobs. A further 26 contractors were found to be out of a job too (via The Verge (opens in new tab)).
"As we explained on earnings, our slowing revenue growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company," a spokesperson for Netflix told T3. "So sadly, we are letting around 150 employees go today, mostly US-based. These changes are primarily driven by business needs rather than individual performance, which makes them especially tough as none of us want to say goodbye to such great colleagues. We're working hard to support them through this very difficult transition."
It's been a busy few months for Netflix, now cancelling more than a dozen shows and seeing its subscriber count drop by 200,000. It looks to combat this by adding live streaming while cracking down on password sharing, according to reports.
Hey, at the very least, a number of Netflix subscribers have secretly been given access to movies and TV shows months before their release date.