The Netflix symbol halfway in a grave with a shovel laying beside it. The photo shows the hole Netflix has dug themselves into and raises the question, will they end up filling in the hole or getting stuck inside it? Illustration by Alyson Sutherland 

While everybody knows the classic “are you still watching” on-screen prompt that pulls all of us out of our Netflix comas, many are starting to wonder if Netflix actually is still watching its shows and their numbers. Throughout 2022, and so far this year, Netflix has been canceling shows left and right regardless of their fanbases, critical reviews or viewership. Numerous fan and critic favorites have been canceled after one or two seasons, leaving fans with cliffhangers that can only be resolved via their own imagination, fan theories or fan-fiction.

A few examples of popular shows that have been canceled are: “Atypical,” “Fate: The Winx Saga,” and “The Babysitters Club.” The most outraged fans I have seen are those of the Netflix Original series “Julie and The Phantoms,” which ended on a cliffhanger, leaving fans wondering when the next season would be announced—only to discover that Netflix denied the fandom a second season. 

Many viewers have noticed the common occurrence of TV shows with well-written queer characters canceled or removed from Netflix, some of the most notable being “I Am Not Okay With This,” “1899,” and “The Society.” While Netflix has canceled numerous shows across genres, viewers can’t help but notice that the shows with large diversity and representation in cast and plotlines are more often than not the projects that get discontinued. 

I received varied opinions in a Google Form shared amongst Franklin students on Netflix’s tactics, with some odd threats to bite CEO’s. Of 16 responses, the majority of those who filled out the form mentioned that while numerous good quality shows have been canceled, lower quality shows or movie series have been renewed multiple times despite the higher levels of dislike from viewers.

Logan Markwell, a junior, stated that “This makes it very clear [to me] that Netflix is out of touch with their audience and, a lot of the time, misses the mark with renewals and cancellations.” Sofia Debenedetto, a sophomore at Franklin, mentioned in their response that it is difficult to find a truly interesting show or movie on Netflix nowadays due to cancellations. 

Along with the cancellations and removals of fan favorite movies and shows, Netflix is also starting to implement a new password policy that will cut down on password sharing. This new policy is already receiving immense backlash from subscribers who share passwords for numerous reasons, but mainly to save money. 

Many families that may not live in the same place or even close by use the same account in order to allow one or two account admins to provide free viewing for loved ones. The new policy is to stop multiple “households” from using the same account, and if accounts are found with multiple IP addresses, then the account holder could be charged extra.

Julia Dixon, a junior at Franklin, shared that she believes it is “it’s pretty annoying and unnecessary,” because of the existing policies around how many screens can watch at the same time, which is part of the payment already. Astro Rocket Random, a junior, also shared that they believe “streaming sites have slowly been getting so much worse,” and Netflix’s policy change is making it more inaccessible. Other Franklin responses questioned why this already-expensive streaming service needed to take more money from account holders. Franklin students also described the policy as “stupid,” “dumb,” and “insensitive of different familial situations.”

There will also be a secondary policy that will be implemented alongside the password policy, which is going to prohibit outside the home use of a Netflix account. Under the policy you will have to request temporary codes to sign into your account to avoid the device being blocked all together from Netflix. You also have to sign into your account every 31 days on your home Wi-Fi to avoid being blocked. These new policies are making many question why they still have a subscription and causing them to rethink their monthly purchase. They are also very funny to me because the old Netflix motto was “watch anywhere, anytime” and “take Netflix anywhere with you.” 

Many subscribers have already participated in a mass cancellation of viewership, which has caused Netflix’s stocks to plummet in the last few weeks. My hope for this particular predicament is that Netflix will either buy/green light a ton of projects or buy rights to popular movies and TV shows they used to own, which will bring back viewers and keep them there. I also hope that Netflix will reconsider the password sharing policies, so college kids and families everywhere can continue to watch their favorite shows and movies without it coming out of their own pockets. Although it is plausible that they will continue to cancel things and change policy, which will end with them completely falling apart.

While it is uncertain which direction the company will go in the future I look forward to watching “Top Gun,” “Grease,” and “Avatar The Last Airbender” to my heart’s content until my parents decide what to do with the subscription. If you have lost a show or movie dear to your heart by Netflix’s stupid decisions, I hope that your favorite show will return better than ever and give you clarity or closure, and that your movie will be found on a free site or another platform you subscribe to. Netflix, the people have spoken and are fed up with the policy change and cancellations, and now is your time to act.

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