Streaming behemoth Netflix has revealed a loss of millions of dollars, thanks to disgraced stars such as Kevin Spacey. The company reported a write-down of almost $40 million.
Announcing its fourth-quarter 2017 earnings, the company claimed to have taken a whopping $39 million total write-down in relation to content "we've decided not to move forward with." This is in spite of record numbers of subscriber additions (eight million, to be exact) to their hugely-popular global service.
On Monday, CFO David Wells revealed during a company-hosted earnings interview that the charge was directly related to the "societal reset around sexual harassment." Although content write-downs aren't unheard of, Netflix hasn't had one of this massive scale before.
Specific projects weren't named and shamed during the discussion. However, it seems highly likely that at least one of the projects in question involved actor Kevin Spacey.
Spacey was first accused of sexual assault towards the end of last year, by actor Anthony Rapp, who alleges Spacey made sexual advances toward him when he was a teenager. He was then accused by various members of the House Of Cards cast and crew.
Spacey was reportedly a tyrant on set while filming the Netflix show, which was arguably the streaming service's biggest original hit, leading to his firing for the final season. He reportedly created a toxic working environment via a pattern of sexual harassment and intimidation, particularly at the height of the show's popularity.
Netflix announced in December that they would be moving forward on the sixth and final season with Robin Wright (who plays Spacey's character's wife) taking the lead role in his absence. It will be a shorter season, comprising of eight episodes instead of the usual 13.
The streaming giant also scrapped its planned biopic of writer Gore Vidal, in which Spacey was supposed to star as the titular character.
Another possible contributor to the write-down may be the planned Louis C.K. stand-up special, which Netflix also canceled in the wake of sexual harassment allegations that surfaced in November.
The comedian admitted to masturbating in front of female comedians among other things, following a rash of accusations. The planned theatrical release of his movie I Love You Daddy was also canceled as a result.
Likewise, Netflix suspended production on the third season of The Ranch after accusations of rape were made against star Danny Masterson. The company subsequently announced that filming would continue later this year without him.
The news of the write-down provides clarity on how the recent deluge of sexual assault accusations in Hollywood has had an impact on the business side of things. Many feel and hope the financial cost will force those in power to take further action to prevent future issues.