Netflix Pulls the Plug on Ava DuVernay’s “Wings of Fire” Series and Ibram X. Kendi’s “Antiracist Baby” Film

AP

Netflix has pulled the plug on several animated projects, including “Wings of Fire,” from executive producer Ava DuVernay; “Antiracist Baby,” a series aimed at preschoolers; and “With Kind Regards From Kindergarten,” a film tailored to youngsters.

The streaming service also scrapped “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You,” a documentary intended to serve as a companion piece to “Stamped From the Beginning,” which is a hybrid documentary and scripted feature that delves into race in the United States. “Stamped From the Beginning” is still moving forward and is currently in post-production.

Sources at Netflix stress the decisions not to move forward with these projects were creative rather than cost related, meaning they would have taken place regardless of the company’s slower revenue growth. Insiders also note that animation has a longer gestation period than live-action. Given the comparatively drawn-out timeline, it’s less unusual for movies or television shows to go back into development or part ways entirely over creative decisions.

That may be the case, but the news comes as Netflix has laid off about 150 staffers (roughly 2% of its workforce), in an attempt to cut costs after a weak start to 2022. In the first quarter of this year, the company reported a net loss of 200,000 streaming customers, its first decline in a decade. Shortly after announcing a dip in subscribers last month, Netflix pink slipped approximately 25 employees in its marketing group, several of whom worked on the Tudum fan-focused content team.

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SOURCE: Variety, Rebecca Rubin

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