Netflix has spent $39m on shows and material we’ll never see

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It currently has one of the biggest chequebooks in the world of television production – but it turns out that Netflix has spent some $39m as well on ‘content’ that we’re not going to see.

In an earnings call discussing its end of year results, Netflix’s chief financial officer, David Wells, admitted that the firm has taken a write-down of $39m on material “we’ve decided not to move forward with”. Specifically, he added that much of this was “related to the societal reset around sexual harassment”.

It doesn’t take much guessing to work out what Wells was referring to. The final season of House Of Cards, for instance, has been significantly retooled to remove Kevin Spacey from it. Furthermore, Spacey was set to star in a biopic of Gore Vidal, and that project was quickly dropped when allegations surfaced against the actor.

Also, Netflix also abandoned a second stand-up comedy special it had ordered with Louis CK, following his admission of sexual misconduct at the end of 2017. And the comedy series The Ranch was also suspended, following rape allegations against Danny Masterson (the show will now return without him).

Netflix admitted that it was unusual to have write-down of such magnitude. Quite.