Netflix Has Cut Even More Employees

The bad news from Netflix continues as 30 more employees are laid off.

By Douglas Helm | Published

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Netflix recently confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that they have laid off 30 more employees as of Wednesday. The cuts come from the Netflix Animation department and add to 70+ layoffs the streamer has already made this year. These layoffs are the latest in a series of rough setbacks Netflix and its employees have had in 2022.

Netflix kicked off the year with an eye-popping 200,000 subscriber loss in the first quarter of 2022. The bleeding didn’t stop there, as the streaming giant reported a 970,000 subscriber loss during the second quarter. Fortunately for them, the most recent season of Stranger Things hit the platform in May and helped to bring people back into the fold and slow the bleeding.

While the layoffs in the Netflix Animation department are disheartening, it’s not necessarily a shocking development. The department was recently put in the hands of new leadership with Karen Toliver and Traci Balthazor. The two were put in charge of trimming down the animation department, which likely led to this recent round of layoffs.

While Netflix’s Animation department is being streamlined, that hasn’t stopped them from putting out quality content. The division has put out projects that have earned seven Oscar noms since its conception in 2020. One of those Oscar noms turned into a win with their short If Anything Happens, I Love You.

The department has found success with TV accolades as well, with the first season of Arcane winning four Creative Arts Emmys along with being one of the best-animated series in recent memory. The series was greenlit for a second season and will continue to be produced under the new department’s purview. It seems like Netflix Animation will continue to produce high-quality work, as they’re currently opening a new facility in Burbank to help house the department.

The Netflix Animation division is likely setting their sites on the horizon despite this trimming down, as they have plenty of projects coming out in the near future. The streaming giant will be releasing Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion take on Pinocchio, along with Wendell & Wild, The Magician’s Elephant, My Father’s Dragon, and a sequel to Chicken Run. They also recently released the feature-length animated film The Sea Beast, which received favorable reviews.

Sebastian J. Cricket in Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

While the quality of Netflix’s best projects, animated or otherwise, has always been solid, it remains to be seen if the restructuring can help Netflix regain a firmer grip on the market. The fact is that Netflix is no longer the only major player in town. People now have a myriad of options with Disney+, Amazon Video, HBO Max Apple TV+, Hulu, Peacock…the list goes on.

In fact, Netflix was passed in subscribers earlier this year by Disney, whose bundles for ESPN, Disney+, and Hulu helped launch it past the longtime streaming king. It seems like Netflix is banking on its upcoming ad-supported tier to give them a much-needed boost. The ad tier will likely be cheaper than other tiers, but it remains to be seen if people hate the ads too much to subscribe or if they are drawn to the lower price point.