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New Netflix layoffs open old wounds for jilted employees

April 29, 2022, 7:34 PM UTC

For the first time in a decade, Netflix has lost subscribers, shedding 200,000 users last quarter, the company announced in its earnings report this week. Netflix stock dropped nearly 38% on the news. 

“Well, it’s a bitch,” co-CEO Reed Hastings said at a staff town hall following the news on April 20, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Now the layoffs have begun.

Netflix confirmed to Fortune that around 25 staff members and contractors in the company’s marketing department were cut on April 28. Workers at Tudum, the company’s editorial website for Netflix fandoms, experienced the most drastic layoffs: At least 10 full-time staffers were cut without warning, Vulture reported.

Tudum writers who shared that they were laid off after being recruited just months ago for the new project received a flood of support on social media. 

Many of the people who joined Tudum were former journalists looking for more job stability with Netflix, and their termination after such a short time at the company was reminiscent of the constant layoffs in digital media. 

Maris Kreizman, host of Lithub’s podcast The Maris Review, implied that the Netflix layoffs were symbolic of digital media’s attitudes toward employees.

“A bunch of my favorite writers were recruited to do editorial for Netflix and I really thought they’d be safer there, at least for a while. But I guess digital media is still digital media,” tweeted Kreizman. 

Sara David, a former Tudum employee, tweeted that fired employees were offered two weeks of severance pay, prompting more backlash as others pointed out that many writers likely relocated for their new job.

The shine of some streaming services has recently dulled. Besides the Netflix news, CNN+ announced it was closing its virtual doors on April 30, just weeks after launching. 

“The bloom has been off the rose for a while. Internally, the feeling that it’s the place to work has been fading long before this. You’re just seeing it now,” an anonymous Netflix executive told the Hollywood Reporter.

April 29, 2022: This story has been updated to clarify that Netflix confirmed details of the layoffs to Fortune.

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