TV

Struggling Netflix slammed by former staffers after brutally cutting LGBTQ+ jobs

Mishti Ali May 18, 2022
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a still image of Heartstopper characters Nick and Charlie on a rugby field

Heartstopper is one of Netflix's biggest LGBTQ+ hits. (Netflix)

Netflix has reportedly decimated its diversity-focused channels in another round of lay-offs.

The streamer reportedly let go of 60 to 70 contractors working on its social media and publishing channels, according to Business Insider, including those running accounts that celebrated and targeted marginalised groups.

The cuts included people working on Netflix’s Strong Black Lead, the Asian American-focused Golden, the Latinx-focused Con Todo, and the LGBTQ-focused Most. Many of those let go were at the company for a short period of time, only having been recently recruited.

It comes as Netflix grapples with a fall in subscribers. The streamer announced a net loss of 200,000 subscribers globally in its first quarter of 2022.

As well as letting go of freelancers, Netflix cut 150 full-time staff, Variety reported.

As reported by the Verge, the cuts include a minimum of 26 contractors who had been working on the company’s Tudum site, which purports to take fans “behind the scenes” of popular Netflix shows. 

In April, Netflix cut about 25 roles in marketing, including almost 12 who had worked on Tudum.

They included Evette Dionne, who was editorial and publishing manager for the site.

Dionne linked the lay-offs to Netflix’s decision to stand by comedian Dave Chappelle after he was criticised for making anti-trans jokes in his special, The Closer.

“You thought platforming a transphobic comedian was the end?” she wrote. “Oh no baby, it was just the beginning. Aligning with that man wasn’t an aberration; it was an omen, a sign of the depravity to come.”

Gabrielle Korn, who was editorial and published lead for Most until April, replied to Dionne: “It was a strategic bet. Everything that followed was in line with it. Ever since it happened I knew in my heart my job wouldn’t exist for much longer.”

She also tweeted: “It’s almost like launching platforms for marginalized communities without giving them the proper resourcing sets them up to fail.”

This is not the first time that the platform has come under fire for how it has treated and engaged with employees from marginalised communities. 

Netflix saw a wave of walk-outs and exits after it released a special by comedian Dave Chappelle that saw him making crude, anti-trans jokes.

Following the Chapelle episode, Netflix responded by changing its corporate culture memo in order to clarify that employees may have to work on projects they consider to be harmful.

“We program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices,” the memo now reads.

Netflix was contacted for comment.

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