Netflix reportedly loses $39mn due to 'unreleased content' after pulling the plug on House Of Cards

Netflix has suffered a $39 million write-down related to content in its fourth quarter 2017 earnings, possibly after the Kevin Spacey scandal

FP Staff January 23, 2018 12:40:56 IST
Netflix reportedly loses $39mn due to 'unreleased content' after pulling the plug on House Of Cards

Netflix’s programming had taken a big hit in 2017 in post Weinstein Hollywood, with two of their major properties, House of Cards and The Ranch, running into trouble after sexual harassment allegations surfaced against their stars. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Netflix has suffered a $39 million write-down related to content in its fourth quarter 2017 earnings, as reported by Variety.

Netflix reportedly loses 39mn due to unreleased content after pulling the plug on House Of Cards

File image of Kevin Spacey. Reuters

Netflix CFO David Wells suggested in an interview that content write-downs are not uncommon but the current one which is "related to societal reset around sexual harassment" is of a never seen before amount. In a statement to shareholders, Netflix said, “We took a $39m non-cash charge in Q4 for unreleased content we’ve decided not to move forward with. This charge was recognized in content expense in cost of revenues.”

It is obvious that the unreleased content which has cost the streaming giant and studio $39 million stems from the decision to suspend their flagship show, House of Cards’ sixth season. Recently the company announced that the show will get a final season of a reduced number of episodes without Kevin Spacey, and instead Robin Wright will lead the eight-episode arc. Netflix also cancelled comedian Louis CK’s stand up special after he admitted to sexual misconduct, and the third season of the comedy The Ranch was also pulled following rape allegations against its star, Masterson.

The bar in Hollywood for expulsion of sexual assaulters has definitely been raised and allegations against A-list stars are resulting in swift reprisals upon their careers. Ridley Scott set a daring example by reshooting major portions of his film All the Money in the World, which was a few weeks away from its release, with Christopher Plummer replacing Kevin Spacey.

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