June 28, 2022

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Ted Sarandos talks about this drop in stocks and support for Dave Chappelle and Hollywood Schadenfreude

Ted Sarandos talks about this drop in stocks and support for Dave Chappelle and Hollywood Schadenfreude

Over the course of a three-hour dinner, Mr. Sarandos was charming and upbeat, dressed in Levi’s and sneakers. You’d never know he’s had poor job-level attempts in the past few months. First, his father, who was very close to him, passed away. Soon after, his mother-in-law, Jacqueline Avant, with whom he was also close, was shot dead when she encountered a burglar in the middle of the night at her Beverly Hills home. Mrs. Avant, famous in Hollywood for her elegance, art collecting, philanthropy, and community organizing in Watts, California, was the wife of Clarence Avant, the music mogul known as “The Black Godfather.”

Then, on top of Mr. Sarandos’ personal problems, Netflix slipped from rapid growth to honing. (Its stock peaked above $700 per share in November 2021 and has now fallen below $200.)

The rise of Mr. Sarandos, a community college night school dropout, from a video store clerk in Arizona to the pinnacle of Hollywood, is legendary.

“He has had more individual influence on movies and TV shows than anyone else Ever Barry Diller told me. It stripped the power of the old movie companies that had held out for nearly 100 years. They are now irrelevant to the playing situation and the rules of the day. If there is still Hollywood, it is.”

Just a few years ago, it was Netflix was the coolest place on earth. Now it’s suddenly getting bleak. In her “Saturday Night Live” monologue last weekend, “Russian Doll” star Natasha Lyonne on Netflix quipped that “the two things you definitely want to associate with right now are Russia and Netflix.”

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After winning the pandemic, Netflix now finds itself in its own version of “Squid Game” survival drama. The company has hit a ceiling, at the moment, of about 220 million subscribers, having thought it could reach a billion subscribers with its global empire, and that has thrown a wrench into the future of Netflix and streaming in general. Wall Street suddenly turned a cold shoulder on her ex, telling Netflix, Guess what, guys, you have to make money, not just increase subscriptions.