J. Arthur Bloom | Deputy Editor
Ted Sarandos, the Netflix chief content officer who threatened to pull the companys business out of Georgia if their new abortion law takes effect, is an Obama bundler whose generous fundraising for the 44th president bought his wife an ambassadorship. If the troubled company were to follow through on the threat, it stands to lose tens of millions in tax incentives offered by the state, which the company can ill-afford to leave on the table.
“Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, well continue to film there, while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to,” Sarandos said in a statement. “Should it ever come into effect, wed rethink our entire investment in Georgia.”
Sarandos wife was appointed ambassador to the Bahamas in 2009 and resigned in November 2011. An inspector generals report said her tenure was marked by “an extended period of dysfunctional leadership and mismanagement, which has caused problems throughout the embassy.” She was absent from her post an average of 12 days per month, according to the IG report.
The close relationship of the Sarandos family and the Obamas was likely decisive in the former presidents production company deciding to work with Netflix to release a series of documentaries, as reported by the Associated Press last month. (RELATED: Netflixs New The Society Is A Fascinating Look At Anarchy)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 23: Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, David Letterman and Zach Galifianakis attend the Netflix FYSEE David Letterman ATAS Official at Raleigh Studios on May 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix)
Netflix has a cash flow problem, due to the low price of subscriptions and the high cost of producing the original content that has put the company on the map as a producer, not just a distributor, of video content. In an attempt to head off the problem, they announced in January that they were raising the price of a basic subscription by two dollars, in response to several months of slow revenue growth. To say the least, the company is not in a position to be turning down lucrative tax incentives.
Sarandos, as head of content at the company, has also been pushing original material. According to CNBC the company intends to spend $10 billion on original content in 2019. To finance expensive production, Netflix went to the debt markets for the second time in six months this April, planning to issue $2 billion in bonds. The companys debt-to-equity ratio has risen considerably in the last two years, making some investors nervous. Its hard to see how doubling down on wokeness is going to improve that situation.
Pulling out of Georgia in a bid for pro-choice respectability could do real damage to Netflixs business model, which is already being squeezed in a few different directions. Disney plans to launch its own streaming service in November, which will compete directly with Netflix, and has pulled its content from the platform. AT&T/Time Warner is expected to launch a streaming service soon as well, which would mean their content could be pulled from the service as well. These looming threats mean Netflix has to continue adding members, and producing original content, or risk losing market share to its more established rivals.
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 12: Ted Sarandos and Ellen Page attend the after party for the premiere of Netflixs “The Umbrella Academy” on February 12, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Some of Netflixs original content has already been produced in Georgia, such as the hit “Stranger Things.” Atlanta has rapidly become the Hollywood of the South since the introduction of substantial public incentives for production that were introduced in 2002. Chief among these is a tax credit worth 20 percent of the production cost, that can be upped to 30 percent with the approval of Georgia Entertainment Promotion.
Stranger Things first season, coming in at eight episodes that cost $6 million a piece, Read More – Source
007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge
Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..
Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.
Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.
Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.
"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.
"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.
"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."
Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".
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She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.
Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship
Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..
Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.
The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.
But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.
The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.
Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".
"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.
"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.
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"We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to pushRead More – Source
Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman
Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..
Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.
The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.
Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.
On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.
Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.
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Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.
We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source
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