Yesterday, we reported that a team of writers at Netflix had been unexpectedly laid off after less than a year in the role. Now, further details have emerged, revealing that staff – who say they were "aggressively courted" by the streaming service months ago – have received just two weeks of severance after their termination.
Further still, one writer says that some had recently relocated for the job, with no suggestion from bosses that their positions were at risk. This comes as Netflix takes multiple cost-cutting measures following a drop in both subscribers and share prices, affecting many employees across the company.
This new information comes from the Daily Beast, which spoke to now-former employees of Netflix's fansite, Tudum. The report states that at least ten writers have been axed so far, despite bosses making grand promises of a positive working environment when poaching them from their previous writing positions.
The former employees say they were promised editorial freedom and no performance quotas. That freedom however was reportedly ignored, with writers later told that they could not be critical of Netflix's content, or even quote those who are.
Furthermore, some staff were apparently promoted just weeks before being laid off, making the move all the more surprising.
"This was all a fucking lie", says one of the sources, speaking about their time at Tudum. "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."
Warning signs apparently showed quite quickly, even as soon as the first week. Workers say that when the site launched, there was no Twitter account ready to promote their content. The site also couldn't support video embeds – an important feature for a site that's meant to promote Netflix content. The biggest sign of trouble came four months in, with a company restructure already in the works, leading to even less creative control.
Netflix has offered very little in the way of a response to this news. It has refused to reveal how many writers were laid off, simply commenting: "Our fan website Tudum is an important priority for the company."
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