The Collapse of Netflix Is the Collapse of Hollywood - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The Collapse of Netflix Is the Collapse of Hollywood

There is a YouTube video which might interest you. It’s four years old and it’s picked up over 51 million views in that time. It probably deserves 10 times that much attention.

The video is an interview between Helen Lewis of the Atlantic and British GQ and the renowned, if controversial, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and speaker Jordan Peterson. It’s precisely what you expect it to be — an hour and 42 minutes of Lewis, an obnoxious socialist who struggles to see anything from outside of the third-wave feminist prism she’s trapped in, attempting to insult and slur Peterson over his views and getting repeatedly run over for the effort.

He’s masterful, and if you have the time, the interview is well worth watching in full. Four years after its publication, it’s still eminently relevant.

The interview came to mind on Wednesday when news hit that Netflix stock had cratered, losing almost 40 percent of its value following news that instead of gaining two million subscribers as projected, the streaming service had actually lost 200,000. Netflix shares are down more than 60 percent since the beginning of the year. Various excuses were offered for the poor performance, but it isn’t hard to understand the problem.

Something Peterson said in the interview explains it perfectly, or at least relates perfectly to the problem plaguing Netflix.

Peterson argues in the video, about six and a half minutes in, that the fundamental basis of the so-called “patriarchal” structure of Western civilization is not power.

It’s competence. It doesn’t matter what your race or sex is. It matters if you’re any good at your job.

The woke simply disregard competence and whine about identity because that is their route to power — which they do care about.

Competence is held in very, very poor esteem by the ruling class in America and elsewhere in the modern West. Nowhere is that more evident than in the entertainment media industry, which, like many other economic sectors which have come to be dominated by woke people who, like Lewis, mistake competence for power and vice versa, is falling apart.

You already know about the idiotic affirmative action measures the woke Motion Picture Academy is taking, measures which make it nearly impossible for any films which are not formulaic in their violence to history, custom, or mainstream Western culture to even be nominated for an Oscar again. Of course, the public has long since lost interest in the Academy Awards anyway; most of the Best Picture nominees this year were box office bombs or not even available to the public outside of streaming services. One was a Netflix offering, the Jane Campion-directed assault on the Western genre Power of the Dog, in which the main character played by Benedict Cumberbatch confuses “toxic” masculinity with badly repressed homosexuality. Famed Western actor Sam Elliott, interviewed in a podcast after the film’s release, couldn’t hide his contempt for the disrespect shown to the genre, calling it a “piece of s**t.” Elliott was later forced to recant.

Because in an industry where power trumps competence, you are not allowed to properly identify the smell.

There’s a problem, though, because eventually, competence trumps power. You do have to make the trains run on time.

Because if you don’t, you end up with a sea of red ink, and your stock in free fall like Netflix’s is.

Or like Disney’s is.

The incompetents at Disney, many of whom look like they might be incompetent to stand trial much less run a Fortune 100 company, are a bit of a different story than the ones at Netflix. After all, last year the streaming service did manage to stave off the woke mob when it came for Dave Chappelle, the producer of some of Netflix’s most marketable content. Chappelle would have had no support from Disney at all (just ask Gina Carano, who is now making movies, including a quite good one of recent vintage, for the Daily Wire). And of course, Disney’s stock is also cratering, and its Disney Plus streaming service has lost some 130,000 subscribers.

Netflix isn’t as terminally woke as Disney. But Netflix swims in the same polluted sea. And Netflix’s management and creative acquisitions team aren’t interested in competence.

They’re interested in power.

In today’s entertainment media industry, that means wokeness. If you’re not woke, you’ve got to fight the power. And you’re going to struggle, badly, to sign top directors, actors, and others to take on projects.

So you go with the flow.

But woke makes terrible, terrible art nobody wants to watch. The Academy might have liked Power of the Dog. Most Netflix subscribers agree with Sam Elliott (or at least Sam Elliott pre-apology).

Here and there, Netflix will pop out shows worth watching. The Last Kingdom is masterful. The Ozark finale comes next week and Ozark has been at least above average.

But not often enough to make it worth an ever-increasing monthly subscription for American families squeezed harder and harder by a presidential administration and party Netflix as a company supported lavishly with campaign cash.

One prominent critic of the woke mentality and its never-ending pursuit of power at the expense of competence was not silent upon the stock crash on Tuesday…

And Breitbart’s John Nolte summed up the problem perfectly…

At first, Netflix delivered. There was a lot of great stuff to watch, and House of Cards, Netflix’s first serious foray into original programming, was edgy and dared to criticize the establishment, most especially Democrats and the political media.

As far as I was concerned, Netflix had cracked the code.

Then Netflix kept raising its prices.

Then Netflix went woke.

Now Netflix feels like a massive pile of old TV shows and movies and new TV shows and movies that are all woke garbage.

You’d think Netflix would look at its own top ten ranking and wonder why its top ten most popular movies are, as of today… #2 The Cleaner (2007),  #4 Ouija: Origin from Evil (2016),  #5 Shrek: Forever After (2010), #6 Shrek (2001),  #7 The Call (2013), #8 The Blind Side (2009), #9 Shrek 2 (2004).

Look at that!

Netflix spends gazillions on original movies, and seven of its top ten are made up of old movies, five of which are more than ten years old, and two (The Call, The Cleaner) didn’t even rank as box office hits.

Among its top ten TV shows, only five are Netflix originals. Netflix literally spends billions of dollars on original programming, and its customers are mostly watching reality shows and shows produced elsewhere.

This is not sustainable.

Woke is not sustainable.

Netflix can either start delivering actual entertainment or lose its prominence and sky-high stock price.

Netflix’s executives are being paid to deliver a product worthy of the public’s entertainment dollar. Not to effect social change by forcing woke propaganda down our throats.

It isn’t a TV network. The world is not an airport where we’re forced to watch Netflix offerings the way we’re forced to watch CNN. People can choose what they want to watch, and Don’t Look Up, hagiographic documentaries on race-hoaxer Bubba Wallace, Cuties, The Umbrella Academy and shows giving Colin Kaepernick a platform to equate NFL stardom to slavery … just … don’t … cut … it.

You have to make the trains run on time. And at Netflix, just like at Disney and virtually every woke corporate entertainment media giant, all the trains are late.

Hollywood is crashing. This is good. It opens the door for something better to replace it.

Scott McKay
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Scott McKay is a contributing editor at The American Spectator  and publisher of the Hayride, which offers news and commentary on Louisiana and national politics, and, a national political news aggregation and opinion site. Additionally, he's the author of the new book The Revivalist Manifesto: How Patriots Can Win The Next American Era, available at He’s also a writer of fiction — check out his three Tales of Ardenia novels Animus, Perdition and Retribution at Amazon. Scott's other project is The Speakeasy, a free-speech social and news app with benefits - check it out here.
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