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Netflix Animation laid off 30 employees on Wednesday, the streaming service confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. It is it the latest in a series of cutbacks and restructuring that began last spring after Netflix reported that it had lost 200,000 subscribers during the first quarter of 2022, followed by a loss of 970,000 subscribers during the second quarter.
During this period, which had already included 70-plus layoffs in animation and numerous cancelled projects including Meghan Markle’s Pearl, Netflix Animation began restructuring that saw new leaders take over in the past few months. The studio is now led by vp of animation film content Karen Toliver and vp animation film production Traci Balthazor. It is understood that Tuesday’s layoffs reflect Netflix’s intent to reorganize animation film production under Balthazor.
Simultaneously, Netflix Animation is in the process of opening a new Burbank facility to house its original feature animation projects.
Netflix has several projects that recently concluded or will soon be finished. Among them, the recently released The Sea Beast directed by Chris Williams, as well as upcoming features including Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Henry Selick’s Wendell & Wild, Nora Twomey’s My Father’s Dragon, Wendy Rogers’ The Magician’s Elephant, and an Aardman Chicken Run sequel. On the TV series side, upcoming projects include season two of Arcane (season one recently won four Creative Arts Emmys, including one for outstanding animated series).
Since 2020, the fledging animation unit earned seven Oscar nominations in the animated feature and short categories, which included a win for the short If Anything Happens, I Love You.
Deadline was first to report the layoffs.
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