Elon Musk took a not-so-subtle jab at Netflix after Tuesday’s report that it lost subscribers for the first time in a decade, saying the “woke mind virus” rendered it “unwatchable.”
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO’s tweet came after Netflix reported a 200,000 drop in subscribers through March and ominously predicted a further loss of another 2 million by the end of June. Musk cited the “virus” as the biggest threat to civilization and imported the platform to make a sci-fi/fantasy at least *mostly* about sci-fi/fantasy.
Musk is an outspoken critic of “wokeness,” deeming it “divisive, exclusionary, and hateful.” The entrepreneur says the practice gives people a way to be mean and cruel, all the while being “armored in false virtue.” Last year he deplored trends that he says will make comedy illegal as he referenced efforts to have his friend Dave Chappelle’s comedy axed from the platform. Many called the standup special “transphobic.”
The company, which benefited from stay-at-home orders during the pandemic, is now challenged by less demand and increased competition.
Other issues include Netflix’s withdrawal from Russia, which cost it 700,000 subscribers, as well as heightened competition from other providers. Subscriber growth has fallen short in four of the last five quarters for the company, and Wednesday alone saw a $54.4 billion loss in market cap.
Whether the platform heeds Musk’s advice or not, it is implementing changes including addressing the up to 100 million households worldwide using its service for free with shared passwords. It is also considering a move long avoided — a lower-cost ad-supported tier.
All of this comes while Musk is working to secure funding along with up to $15 billion of his own cash to take Twitter private. On many occasions he has taken the social media giant to task for censoring free speech, particularly that of conservatives.
Whether Netflix has succumbed to “wokeness” is debatable, but Musk is clearly right about one thing. Actions spawn reactions, and the further leftward the country’s elites drift, the more the conservative majority will look to hear its own voices. And that applies to streaming entertainment, social media, and the news. Just ask CNN+.