Netflix has laid off some of its staff at its new Tudum site, many of them recently hired women of color.
Tudum, named for the sound of the Netflix logo, was launched in December 2021 and expected to bring fans “behind the streams,” with articles featuring inside scoops surrounding Netflix original shows and films.
According to Variety, Netflix took a considerable stock loss of $54 billion in Q1 of 2022 and was also named “the worst performer in the S&P 500 this year,” according to The New York Times. The loss led to layoffs.
One team of 10-12 writers and editors who worked on the culture and trend section of Tudum were laid off. Most, if not all, of the team, were Black, Latinx or Asian women.
According to NPR, some laid-off members were told that layoffs were part of Netflix’s marketing department restructure. A Netflix spokesperson even wrote, “Our fan website Tudum is an important priority for the company.”
One former member told NPR, “They went very out of their way to hire high-level journalists of color who have quite a bit of name recognition and a lot of experience and talent. In some ways, they were just buying clout to lend credibility to their gambit.”
“We were courted pretty aggressively. They sold us on the most amazing thing that you could want as a culture journalist or entertainment journalist. They just sold something that seemed impossible anywhere else,” the anonymous source said. “But the biggest selling point was the pay.”
The writers and editors on staff were offered just two weeks of severance pay.
“People upended their lives for this,” another former member said.
A few ex-Tudum employees shared their grievances on Twitter and are broadcasting that they are looking for new job opportunities:
Netflix recruited me seven months ago only to lay me and a bunch of other talented people off today. I’m going to take time off to just exist, so please get in touch if you’ll have editing and content strategy opportunities open after August. EvetteDionneWriter@gmail.com
— Evette Dionne (@freeblackgirl) April 28, 2022
I actually had a piece-in-progress for Tudum—one that took me months to have the capacity to write—about Kanye & grieving a parent after their death. So if any editors want this piece let me know. It took ~A LOT~ of emotional labor so not accepting less than $1/word. Thanks.
— Nneka M. Okona 🇳🇬 (@afrosypaella) April 29, 2022
Well. I just was laid off from a significant contract originally intended through August so I’m looking for stable work… and rent. I need rent.
— Nichole 🍞🍯 (@tnwhiskeywoman) April 28, 2022