wings of fire

Netflix lays off 150 staffers, cancels three kids projects

More employees were let go this week as the streamer faces slowing growth and continues to trim its kids portfolio with new cancellations, including Ava DuVernay's high-profile series Wings of Fire.
May 18, 2022

The belt-tightening continues this week at Netflix, with the streamer laying off 150 employees. In total, about 2% of its North American workforce (mostly US-based staff) was let go across departments that include social media and editorial.

The company is also scaling back its spending on content in the face of declining subscriptions and an increasingly competitive streaming landscape. “As we explained on [our] earnings [call], our slowing revenue growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company,” a Netflix spokesperson told Kidscreen.

Three more animated projects in development have been canceled—Wings of Fire (pictured) from Warner Bros. Animation and director Ava DuVernay; book adaptation Antiracist Baby; and feaure film With Kind Regards from Kindergarten. They join Dino Daycare and Boons & Curses, which were nixed earlier this month.

Despite the synchronous timing of the cancellations and layoffs, Netflix said these content decisions were based on creative rather than cost considerations, and would have been made regardless of the company’s financial status.

The streamer has been scaling back for a few weeks now, following a disappointing first quarter. Phil Rynda (director of creative leadership and development for original animation) and the editorial team on its behind-the-scenes website Tudum were laid off last month.

Kidscreen has also confirmed that the jobs of around 70 animation employees, in addition to the previously reported 150 staffers, could be affected by the cancellations of the three animated projects. – Updated May 19, 2022

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at rtuchow@brunico.com

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