Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Embarrassing Deadline Approaching on Netflix

When the current history of Hollywood is written, April 19, 2022 will go down in history as the day everything changed.

It was supposed to be a casual earnings call, during which Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings briefed tech and business reporters on the company’s latest data. Instead, Hastings reported that the company had lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers due to the first drop in subscribers in 10 years.

The revelations immediately set off something like an earthquake from Wall Street to Los Angeles, with the company’s value being cut by $75 billion in 24 hours.

Why it matters is the consequences of this abrupt, stunning reversal of fate for two people about 450km south of Netflix’s headquarters, in the wealthy enclave of Montecito.

In the course of that single cash-in, one call not only weakened the streaming giant’s once unshakable grip on the entertainment industry, but the supposedly cashed-out future of Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, began to crumble. look much less confident.

Monday marks 712 days since the world learned on September 2, 2020 that the newly freed Sussexes signed a $140 million (AU$197 million) deal with Netflix through no less a news outlet than The newspaper “New York Times with a story celebrating the duo’s “new Hollywood careers”.

But today, these “new Hollywood careers” have not yet begun, while the once-mighty Netflix has lost more than $200 billion (yes, a billion with a B) in value this year.

Nearly two years after all the hype of September 2, 2020, the landscape for both the titled duo and the streamer has changed significantly.

Will the Sussex/Netflix marriage survive – or even be able to?

Since 2020, not only the fortunes of Netflix, but also the fortunes of Harry and Meghan have been dramatically shaken.

At the time the deal was announced, this seemed like the most obvious and logical combination: two of the most famous people in the world would be worthy of making documentaries or something; in return; Netflix touted the fact that their books featured the real Duke and Duchess. Harry and Meghan will receive squillions; the company is reaping the fruits of the PR revolution of the decade.

However, the royal duo aren’t as hot as they used to be, are they?

It’s been more than 30 months since Harry and Meghan fled the suffocating life of royal duty in California’s greener pastures and the lucrative embrace of corporate America.

During this time, they managed to sign a number of high-profile deals, including with Spotify, coaching company BetterUp, and Ethic, a fintech asset manager, as well as create their own charitable foundation and host a seemingly endless parade of photo opportunities. .

On paper, it sounds like it was the whirlwind of achievement and the sort of hard-working self-starter that America was founded on. Other than…what did they actually achieve?

Yes, they have made a number of donations to causes ranging from World Food Kitchen to helping repair the roof of a women’s shelter after a storm, reflecting their generosity and desire to help others. Kudos. But writing a check here and there is hardly the kind of work that will ever land them on the long list of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Unfortunately for two people who seem to really care, there is not a single problem, not a single reason why they have really moved since they started their new lives.

More importantly for their Netflix and Spotify payers, they failed to truly establish themselves as the leading voices of the day. They can go to great lengths to present themselves as inspiring leaders, but the lackluster pudding that was the lackluster turnout at Harry’s recent UN speech is proof of that.

The international community was unlikely to flock to hear him speak, while Washington largely ignored them.

Meghan’s cold call to senators over paid parental leave last year went much like a gluten-free, dairy-free muffin at a Buckingham Palace garden party, and the Duchess has yet to emerge as any powerhouse player ahead of the midterms. later this year. year.

At the end of June, the former actress took part in a conversation with the pioneer of the feminist movement Gloria Stein for Fashion after the horrific repeal of abortion protection, saying, “Well, Gloria, maybe it looks like you and I will be going on a trip to Washington together soon.”

Nearly two months later, the Duchess still hasn’t appeared on the Ring Road.

The bottom line is this: Harry and Meghan have proven utterly incapable of succeeding in the corridors of power in Washington DC, New York, Silicon Valley or Los Angeles.

Over the past two years, the fairy dust of their royalty has largely faded, and the novelty factor has faded. It looks like their momentum to close deals has waned as they haven’t announced any other ventures since July 2021 last year, when it was revealed that Harry was busy working on a memoir.

Things might look different today if the Sussexes have been releasing series after documentary and one-off Netflix specials over the past 712 days, but as we all know, that’s not the case. The company has only publicly announced two Sussex projects: Harry’s documentary about a sporting event for wounded servicemen Heart of Invictus (an amazing initiative he started years ago as a working member of the royal family) and an animated children’s series from Meghan called Pearl.

In early May, it was announced that Netflix was shutting down The Duchess’s show as part of a much larger cost-cutting program, with numerous high-profile projects being shut down as the streamer tightened its belts dramatically.

Then, in the same month, the news came, which the company is about to receive, since Page six let’s just say their “pound of flesh” duet with the revelation that Harry and Meghan were already filming something called a “home” documentary series that has a hint of infamy. (Later reports suggested that Netflix wanted it to air before the end of the year.)

Potentially hundreds of millions of dollars are worth on this docu-series for self-made, private jet-flying and polo-loving Sussexes.

If it turns out that the Duke and Duchess are television gold, if they’re going to demonstrate that they’re booze-worthy stars that can attract streaming viewers around the world, then their US career is sealed. Get another polo pony! Damn, buy seven.

But if they don’t live up to the hype and rhetoric? The advertised huge sums and all those nice millions that supposedly come to them can dry up faster than a California lake.

(And it’s not that their docuseries are likely to have a lot of royal access, considering Harry and Meghan were embarrassingly sidelined by The Firm while they were in London for a Platinum Jubilee.)

There’s no doubt that Netflix is ​​a very patient company when it comes to superstar recruits. Take Barack and Michelle Obama, who both signed to Netflix and Spotify after they left the White House.

However, this week Harry and Meghan will break Obama’s record of 716 days between the announcement of their Netflix deal and their first standout project starring one of them. Becoming, is released. (In the meantime, they produced two children’s shows and made two documentaries, one of which won an Oscar.)

Harry and Meghan may have titles and a password for the Wi-Fi at Buckingham Palace, but that’s not enough for large companies to happily transfer millions into their bank accounts for the opportunity to work with them. They really need to do something to prove themselves.

They can’t just hope that they can live here forever, living on the smell of canned Royal Highness.

Following this April earnings announcement, Netflix laid off hundreds of employees and made the drastic decision to finally bring advertising to the platform. Can the company still afford to have famous stars who don’t live up to their promises?

How much patience and faith will this recently humiliated Netflix have for its unfulfilled celebrities?

To some extent, the same goes for Spotify.

In April, Megan’s first meeting with the audio giant took place. archetypes was announced promising that the “groundbreaking” series would be launched during the northern summer. Only a few weeks left before the beginning of autumn, and the clock is ticking again.

Daniela Elzer is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a range of leading Australian media outlets.

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