Elon Musk blames Netflix losses on 'woke mind virus' making service 'unwatchable'
Elon Musk said Netflix had become "unwatchable" after becoming infected by the "woke mind virus" as the streaming giant was rocked by subscriber losses.
The subscription service reportedly lost more than 200,000 users between January and March this year, according to a quarterly report revealed on Tuesday, April 19. The announcement caused Netflix shares to crater by a whopping 25 percent, amid reports that the company is set to lose a further 2 million subscribers by June. The streaming service is now looking at introducing ads and cracking down on password sharing to curb the losses and is testing updates in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru where an estimated 10 million households allegedly use someone else's account.
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According to the Daily Mail, Netflix has cited several reasons for the downtick in subscribers, including the aftermath of binge-watching during the lockdown, the success of new rival platforms such as Disney+, Apple TV, Warner Bros Discovery, and Paramount, as well as pulling out of Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. While Netflix has released a number of recent hits including 'Squid Game', 'Bridgerton', and 'Sex Education', it also produced "woke" content such as 'He's Expecting,' which tells the story of a man who becomes pregnant. Meanwhile, the Los Gatos, California-based company has also been forced to borrow over $16 billion in a decade in production and business costs.
"The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable," Musk wrote in response to a tweet about the subscription service's dwindling performance. A follower then commented, "Woke mind virus is the biggest threat to the civilization," to which the SpaceX founder replied, "Yes."
The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2022
Yes— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2022
Another follower wrote, "Not just Netflix. Movies in general, videogames, tv, it's all infested with current year trend woke garbage for fear of offending a green-haired freak next to the ban button. Nothing original anymore at all, except for media coming out of places like Japan or Korea, ironically." The world's richest man responded, "True."
True— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 20, 2022
Some fans urged Musk to take over Netflix after he completes his Twitter takeover. The billionaire is reportedly planning to shell out $15 billion of his own money to make Twitter a private entity and is expected to launch a fresh takeover bid in the next 10 days. The Tesla founder, who is worth $273 billion at the time of publication, is also currently Twitter's second-biggest shareholder with a 9.1 percent stake. He has roped in Morgan Stanley to raise $10 billion in debt and will make his next offer in a week-and-a-half, the New York Post reported.
Netflix, on the other hand, is considering launching a low-cost model supported by ads and cracking down on password sharing. The streaming giant reportedly lost more than 700,000 subscribers after its decision to suspend operations in Russia to protest the war in Ukraine. The service also blamed the Covid lockdown boom for creating "a lot of noise," claiming that the return to normalcy was rather slow after two years of lockdowns.
The latest quarterly report has rattled Netflix shareholders, with its shares plunging by more than 25% in extended trading after the disappointing performance. If the trend continues into Wednesday's regular trading session, the shares will have lost more than half of their value -- thereby erasing $150 billion in shareholder wealth in less than four months.