After streaming giant Netflix’s vow to fight Georgia’s new “Heartbeat” bill went viral across mainstream media outlets in May, those same outlets were silent on the issue's effect as they reported on the company’s historic subscriber loss and the resulting drop in its shares when announced last week. This, despite a massive drive by various pro-life groups to boycott the company in the same quarter that it experienced the loss.
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos issued a statement to Variety on May 28 denouncing Georgia’s pro-life legislation. Sarandos threatened that if the law goes into effect, “we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia,” and that the company would, “work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court."
At least three pro-life petitions were started in the wake of Netflix’s statement, urging Netflix customers to cancel their memberships, and the hashtag #BoycottNetflix was started on Twitter where many pro-lifers announced they have cancelled their Netflix subscriptions in protest. Many pro-life leaders and organizations have called for a boycott of Netflix, as well.
Interestingly, the site for the RedPetition appears to have been shut down and their account has been suspended. However, in just one day conservatives cost Netflix $133,299.60 in annual losses based on the reported cancellation of monthly subscriptions to RedPetition, according to God TV. You can view tweets from those who signed the petition and shared it on Twitter before the site was shutdown here.
Some scoffed at pro-lifers' attempts to make a difference with their petitions and cancellations, including the atheist Freethinker blog on the website Patheos.com. Citing a story on FaithWire about the protests, the blog quoted from comments on the story which mocked pro-lifers.
Freethinker went on to cite positive reports on Netflix’s earnings in the past, stating, “Bottom line: the boycott by angry anti-abortion Christian fanatics will be nothing more than pissing in wind exercise, and may well serve to drive up the number Netflix’s subscribers.”
Well, Freethinker, sorry to disappoint you (not really), but oh, how the mighty have fallen! Looks like it wasn’t just an exercise in “pissing in the wind” after all. In the same quarter as the pro-life protests, last week Netflix reported an historic loss of 126,000 subscribers in the U.S., falling way short of analysts’ expected growth of 352,000, also missing its own expected gain of 2.3 million global subscribers. Netflix stock shares plummeted as a result of the news, as well.
Where are the mainstream media outlets which so gleefully touted Netflix’s vow to fight against Georgia’s legislation? Strangely, it’s just crickets. That’s because they’re too busy making other excuses for the big hit Netflix has taken, blaming price increases and other possible reasons, which of course could have also been contributing factors. But it’s disingenuous at best to make no mention of the pro-life protests, petitions and boycotts that likely played a role in Netflix’s first subscriber loss in eight years.
Pro-lifers who still want to pull the plug on Netflix can cancel their memberships here and sign the two current petitions, one of which has almost 30,000 signatures while the other is nearing 10,000.