To @BrianKempGA & Speaker Ralston:
Attached, is an open letter signed by 50 actors against #HB481. On behalf of the undersigned–as people often called to work in GA or those of us contractually bound to work in GA–we hope you’ll reconsider signing this bill. #HBIsBadForBusiness pic.twitter.com/DsOmAWYU2x
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) March 28, 2019
On May 7th, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 481 into law, which aimed to protect the life of pre-born babies in most cases when a fetal heartbeat is detected. Netflix was the first movie studio to threaten to leave Georgia if the state allowed the pro-life law to stand. With Georgia’s $9.5 billion film industry at stake, the list of Hollywood movie studios and activists actors grew that publicly denounced the law in a coordinated effort to put pressure on pro-life elected officials in the State of Georgia. The list of movie studios quickly grew to to include AMC, Disney, Hulu, Amazon, CBS, NBC, Warner Bros, and more.
— Yahoo Lifestyle (@yahoolifestyle) May 30, 2019
It’s helpful to remember that studios like Netflix, as well as the others, surely want to continue to take advantage of the very generous 30% tax rebate that Georgia offers film companies, as well as the favorable business environment of Georgia compared to the over-regulated over-taxed state of California from where the film companies fled. But over the past several months, as state after state in middle America have exercised their right of self-government and enacted legislation that outlaw partial birth abortion, and try to mitigate the amount of abortions in their states. It is likely that these laws are passing because public opinion has continued moving in the pro-life direction. However, several pro abortion actors/activists have greatly increased their calls to boycott states like Georgia, and in late May Netflix was publicly joining them.
In a statement released by the film industry magazine Variety on May 28th, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, vowed to get the streaming giant personally involved by working “with the ACLU and others to fight it in court.”
The Personhood Alliance, a confederation of independent pro-life organizations, quickly responded to this statement by creating a protest campaign on CitizenGo. Other unaffiliated groups and subscribers also organized protests. For their part, the Personhood Alliance believes that pursuing “personhood” to restore legal protections to every human being, from biological beginning to natural death, without exception should be the approach to 21st-century politics and culture. Over 30,000 Netflix subscribers agreed and joined their boycott of Netflix streaming services in their call to action. Now, two months later, Netflix is reporting that they are in the red.
On Thursday, less than two months after making their anti-Georgia feelings known, Netflix is reporting that they lost a shattering $17 billion in overall value, which caused their stock to dive more than 10%. In fact, this was the first time in 8 years that Netflix has reported negative membership totals. Wall Street got very jittery when the streaming service lost 126,000 subscribers in the United States and failed to meet their international goals as well.
According to Business Insider, analysts are blaming other, competing streaming services for news of the shortfall. Some are even suggesting that Netflix has reached “peak subscribers”:
The subscriber losses in the US are a sign that the service’s domestic growth could be slowing as more companies enter the streaming game with their own platforms and pull licensed content from Netflix.
Consulting firm PwC said in a report last month that Netflix could be “nearing its peak subscriber point in the US.”
“The first-mover advantage in streaming video that Netflix has capitalized on to date continues to be eroded, as the industry begins to fragment, with more and more companies entering the market, from pay-TV heavyweights to specialized, niche players,” PwC said.
However, Netflix vehemently pushed back on that narrative, predicting more growth in the next quarter:
“While our US paid membership was essentially flat in Q2, we expect it to return to more typical growth in Q3, and are seeing that in these early weeks of Q3,” Netflix said.
Netflix also said it didn’t “believe competition was a factor” in its subscriber shortfall this quarter, since there “wasn’t a material change in the competitive landscape during Q2.”
Netflix also laid the blame on their weak, current slate of original TV shows and movies that drove fewer sign-ups than expected. They also blame their recent price hikes in certain regions around the world. However, what seems to be conspicuously missing from all of these reports is the possibility that the voices of the faith-based community, subscribers who value the right to life, and those who just hate to support corporate activism, are partly responsible for Netflix coming up short.
Did the public bullying tactics of Hollywood studios and celebrities, who frequently talk about “choice,” turn off more Netflix subscribers after their “woke” virtue-signalling? No one in the media seems to think so, and it’s impossible to quantify, but it seems like it should at least get a mention in reports of the massive downturn.