Following a brutal wave of layoffs from its editorial arm Tudum, Netflix has unceremoniously axed another member of its staff. The move comes on the heels of the company’s stock tanking after a precipitous drop in its subscriber numbers, and it shows plainly why we need both media unions and freelancer solidarity if any of us are going to be able to survive in this industry. Meghan Markle is, at present, out of a job.
Deadline reported on Sunday that Netflix dropped Pearl, Markle’s children’s show about “the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who finds inspiration in a variety of influential women throughout history.” She brought the show to Netflix last summer under the umbrella of Archewell Productions, the production company she founded with Prince Harry in order to enter into an exclusive $100 million content-producing deal with Netflix. This is, of course, not to be confused with Archewell Audio, which is the “audio-first” production company she founded with Prince Harry in order to enter into an exclusive $25 million dollar content-producing deal with Spotify.
Now, you may be wondering: Have Prince Harry and Meghan Markle so far produced even a single piece of content under either of their multi-million dollar content-producing deals? Well, yes; don’t be rude. They did one podcast episode. But they have a new podcast coming this summer, okay?, and documentary about the Invictus games is still in the works at Netflix. So there. You can’t force the muse.
Anyway, Meghan is whip-smart, and we’re hoping another streaming service — ideally in the money-burning phase of its lifespan — scoops her up immediately.