Gadfly Elon Musk on Tuesday waded into the troubled waters of Netflix as it appeared to be going down the drain.
The company announced Tuesday that its streaming service had lost about 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, with the crepe-hanging prediction that 2 million more would flee in the second quarter, according to CNN.
Netflix had been predicting it would gain 2.5 million subscribers in the first quarter.
The news sent the company’s stock down 25 percent in after-hours trading.
Enter Musk, who took time from his playful courtship of Twitter to serve as culture doctor and diagnose what’s ailing the streaming service.
“The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable,” he tweeted.
The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2022
Although Netflix has 221.6 million subscribers, its stock has been sinking and is now about 40 percent below where it was a year ago.
Netflix blamed COVID-19’s aftermath. It blamed the invasion of Ukraine. It blamed subscribers who share passwords, meaning many people watch the service without paying for it.
“In addition to our 222 million paying households, we estimate that Netflix is being shared with over 100 million additional households, including over 30 million in the [United States/Canada] region,” the company said in its letter to shareholders.
And, of course, there was talk of making Netflix better.
“Our plan is to reaccelerate our viewing and revenue growth by continuing to improve all aspects of Netflix — in particular the quality of our programming and recommendations, which is what our members value most,” the company said.
Netflix added that it’s “doubling down on story development and creative excellence” and that it launched the “double thumbs up” tool that will allow members to “better express what they truly love versus simply like.”
But the company has been widely criticized for various programs in recent years.
In 2020, its show “Cuties” was accused of sexualizing preteen girls, leading many to sever ties with the service.
that’s okay! support pedophillia and watch the profits start dropping #CancelNetflix pic.twitter.com/gDvvsnHeYW
— vic (@victorialcarr) September 10, 2020
Last year, Netflix revealed “Q-Force,” a cartoon about LGBT spies. “We’re the first queer agents in the field ever,” a character said in the trailer.
“Dear White People” also turned away viewers who perceived it as racist against white people.
Dear White People is the next new racist propaganda, this time coming from @netflix. Disgusting. #boycottnetflix
— TRUMP 2020 (@IncPolitics) February 8, 2017
And this week, Netflix subscribers will be treated to “He’s Expecting,” whose synopsis reads, “When a successful ad executive who’s got it all figured out becomes pregnant, he’s forced to confront social inequities he’d never considered before.”
Netflix still wonders why they’re losing subscribers.. Go woke go Broke pic.twitter.com/bbYoYRYaWn
— Born Free Skye (@Skye_1008) April 19, 2022
The streaming giant isn’t just driving away subscribers with divisive and offensive “woke” programming. Some say much of the content is just plain bad.
“Netflix spent more than $13 billion on original content last year, and people apparently aren’t watching it all that much,” Kevin Dugan wrote in New York Magazine on Tuesday.
“Yes,” Dugan said, “there have been hits, such as ‘Squid Game’ and ‘Love Is Blind,’ but there are also shows that are so bad and pointless — like ‘Is It Cake?,’ a game show where people guess if things are real or are cakes in disguise — that as I watch them I am forced to consider that one day I will die, and I’ll look back on my life and the part of it when I yelled at the screen that no, that’s not in fact a cake.
“But I still have a Netflix subscription, so joke’s on me.”
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