Netflix stops production of Russian original series

style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; font-weight: 600;"Fri 4th Mar, 2022

The streaming service Netflix has stopped 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-based video-on-demand provider in Russia. The number of subscribers is in the six-digit range. The service, which has been adapted for the Russian market, has been offered by Netflix for a good year. The provider does not have its own representative office in Russia.

Netflix is currently working on two Russian Netflix originals. These are an adaptation of the novel "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy and the drama series "Nothing Special." In it, a young actor, portrayed by Yuriy Borisov, wants to perform a play with people with disabilities. The media service "Serienjunkies" reported on this in December 2021.

Following a requirement by the Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor, Netflix was supposed to include 20 Russian news, sports and entertainment channels in its service since the beginning of 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 an adapted offer in Russia, but can only be accessed via the generally applicable dot-com Internet site, a spokeswoman told the Tagesspiegel. This results in a different situation than with 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 important aid on the ground, including UNICEF, UNHCR, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), Red Cross, Polska Akcja Humanitarna and Save the Children, with five million US dollars.

On Tuesday, several major Hollywood studios had announced they would not show their new films in Russian cinemas for the time being because of Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine. Sony and WarnerMedia had joined Disney's boycott. Among others, the Disney animated film "Red" and the new Warner blockbuster "The Batman" are affected.

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

Image by Souvik Banerjee

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