May 13, 2022

Netflix stops production of Russian original series

The Netflix streaming service has halted its productions in Russia in response to the attack on Ukraine ordered by Vladimir Putin. A spokeswoman for Netflix Germany told the Tagesspiegel. Currently, the production of two Netflix Originals is underway in Russia, on which no further work will now be done. However, the service itself will continue to be offered.

Netflix is ​​the largest international subscription video-on-demand provider in Russia. The number of subscribers is in the six-digit range. The service, adapted to the Russian market, has been offered by Netflix for a good year. The supplier does not have its own representative office in Russia.

Netflix is ​​currently working on two Russian Netflix Originals. It is an adaptation of the novel “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy and the drama series “Nothing special”. In it, a young actor, played by Yuriy Borisov, wants to perform a play with people with disabilities. The press service “Serienjunkies” reported on this in December 2021.

Following a requirement from Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor, Netflix was supposed to include 20 Russian news, sports and entertainment channels in its service since early March. However, the service refused to do so “in view of the current situation”.

Netflix competitor Amazon Prime currently sees no way to stop its video offering in Russia. Prime Video does not have a suitable offer in Russia, but can only be accessed via the generally applicable dot-com website, a spokeswoman told Tagesspiegel. This results in a different situation from competitors, she added.

The spokeswoman also referred to a donation made by Amazon to aid organizations in Ukraine. According to its own statements, Amazon supports organizations that provide significant aid on the ground, including UNICEF, UNHCR, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the Red Cross, Polska Akcja Humanitarna and Save the Children, with five million US dollars.

On Tuesday, several major Hollywood studios announced that they would not be showing their new films in Russian theaters for the time being due to Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. Sony and WarnerMedia had joined the Disney boycott. Among others, Disney’s animated film “Red” and Warner’s new blockbuster “The Batman” are affected.

On Wednesday, the BBC and other British producers of TV content stopped selling licenses to Russian broadcasters. The BBC also asked its Russian customers to stop showing episodes of TV series or entertainment shows, for example, that they had already purchased.

Image by Souvik Banerjee