Netflix has laid off some of its staff in a move that comes hot at the heels of the streaming giant recording a drop in subscribers for the first time in a decade. Many of the fired employees were writers and editors at Tudum, the official companion site to Netflix which was launched in December. Most of them were women of colour who had been hired just months before, NPR reported.
The Netflix employees who were laid off included one team of 10-12 writers and editors who worked for Tudum’s culture and trends section. “Most, if not all of the team were Black, Latinx or Asian women,” NPR reported, adding that they were all experience journalists who had been poached from places like Vulture, Teen Vogue and The New York Times.
"They went very out of their way to hire high level journalists of colour 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," one member of the team told NPR, just hours after being laid off. Others took to Twitter to vent their anger and look for new opportunities.
At least 10 employees tweeted about being laid off just months after being hired with the promise of more stability.“Still processing that Netflix recruited me from my union job of SIX YEARS (which had 18 weeks severance) with the promise of new opportunities and a diverse team, only to lay me off months later with TWO WEEKS severance,” one angry employee tweeted. “I’m devastated.”
still processing that netflix recruited me from my union job of SIX YEARS (which had 18 weeks severance) with the promise of new opportunities and a diverse team, only to lay me off months later with TWO WEEKS severance. some people moved to CA for this gig! i’m devastated
— sara david (@SaraQDavid) April 29, 2022
“Netflix recruited me seven months ago only to lay me and a bunch of other talented people off today,” wrote an employee.
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. EvetteDionneWriter@gmail.com— Evette Dionne (@freeblackgirl) April 28, 2022
Well. I just was laid off from a significant contract originally intended through August so I’m looking for stable work… and rent. I need rent.
— Nichole (@tnwhiskeywoman) April 28, 2022
“Is anyone hiring? Netflix just laid off my team (my job included). It was an incredible few months and I'm grateful for it but I'm stoked about whatever's next,” an employee tweeted.
Uh oh! Looks like I have to do this tweet again. Is anyone hiring? Netflix just laid off my team (my job included). It was an incredible few months and I'm grateful for it but I'm stoked about whatever's next. Email is in bio.— josh terry (@JoshhTerry) April 28, 2022
Just got laid off from Netflix/Tudum, effective today. Email me with opportunities at email@example.com so I can pay my rent and help my parents survive!
A bunch of my incredible colleagues got laid off, too. You’d be incredibly lucky to work with any of them.— Reina Sultan (she/her) (@SultanReina) April 28, 2022
The Netflix layoffs stoked anger online. Several Twitter users noted that Netflix had laid off employees they had poached from other places with just two weeks of severance pay.
Two weeks severance pay from Netflix?! TWO??? WEEKS???— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) April 29, 2022
Feel like hiring dozens of writers of color, having them all leave secure jobs and move out to California and then summarily firing them all with two weeks severance should forever disallow Netflix to use its Twitter accounts to speak as a first person marginalized identity
— Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) April 29, 2022
The Netflix Tudum incident is one of the more profound backfiring of any of that company's tactics to court the film twitter sphere.
Poach a handful of writers to write about their content and promote it to their followers, then swiftly lay most of them off months later.— Clintlock (@Cinemacreep) April 30, 2022
According to the Daily Beast, to build Tudum, Netflix hired people with the promise of astronomical pay and no story or traffic targets. If that sounds too good to be true, many learned the hard way it was.“Why do all this? Did they just have money that they had to burn for tax purposes or something, and so they just hired us? They could have at least waited a year,” one former Tudum staff member told the Daily Beast. “It’s just like, this was all a f*****g lie.”