It's Time To Fire The Blacks!
Netflix’s slow descent has been happening thanks to their years of spending too much without producing enough quality to make up for it. In the beginning Netflix garnered praise as a place for filmmakers after the movie industry began to turn on anything that doesn’t make $100 million the first weekend. But over time as working with interesting directors and artists didn’t actually lead to a surplus of new subscribers, they instead turned to being a content machine, spending more money to produce as many shows as they could for less. Surprise though, this turned out to be an even worse strategy particularly as interesting filmmakers flocked to other, cooler streaming services. Truth be told, we were always headed here. Eventually there’s a wall to hit when it comes to how many people subscribe to any service and despite the service’s belief that password-sharing is hurting their revenue, Netflix hasn’t been cool for some time thanks to all the soap-opera looking garbage they’ve become associated with.
But as with all businesses, particularly in media, when it’s time to belt-tighten, they first things to get cut are anything associated with diversity and, well, black people. Netflix built a lot of online equity with young people by
pandering building rapport with communities of color, gay people, and women through specialized social media accounts that foster relationships with viewers and increase visibility on their most diverse programs. Today, those editorial sections of the company were decimated thanks to the latest company-wide layoffs. A few weeks ago, Netflix had recently fired a lot of writers that were expected to lead its new Buzzfeed-like fansite, another endeavor similarly filled with a diversity of writers and creatives.
That’s the way it goes in tech, black and brown people are the most expendable parts of their infrastructure as the mostly white people in charge scramble to rearrange seats on the Titanic and save themselves for a little while longer. Streaming sites are in trouble as a whole, as the slow demise of Netflix shows. The days of these companies spending exorbitantly in order to fill its catalog has a short shelf life as a strategy. What all this means for the movies and television we will get a decade from now is anyone’s guess? But watching this happen to Netflix fills me with a bit of schadenfreude even though it sucks to watch black people lose work. I’ll never wish for that but Netflix has been the most egregious in the way it pretends to care about “diversity” while adopting the language and memes of the black and gay to sell people on whatever dumb movie starring Chris Hemsworth is out this week. In the end, Netflix shows what it really has always been, indifferent to the people it feeds off of and its decline will be gratifying to watch.
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