- Blogs - April 27 Industry News Recap

Channel 4 Privatizes, Netflix Animation Erased, Geena Davis, and The Industry Unpaused 

Channel 4 in the U.K privatizes, Netflix Animation loses as subscribers dwindle, Geena Davis discusses gender parity in film, and how the industry has resumed business in relation to COVID-19.

By Lauren Cali
April 27, 2022 

Channel 4 Privatizes

For 40 years, Channel 4 in the United Kingdom has been a public company. Now the company will be a privately-owned broadcaster - Deadline reports.  

Channel 4 stands out with its unique finance model. Revenue that comes from advertising and digital gets reinvested into programming. Additionally, the company’s publisher-broadcast model has always ensured producers could keep the rights to the shows they made. 

With the sale, worth $1.3 billion, the government may allow Channel 4 the opportunity to make and sell its own shows. A spokesperson said:
“Channel 4 has engaged in good faith with the government throughout the consultation process, demonstrating how it can continue to commission much-loved programs from the independent sector across the UK that represent and celebrate every aspect of British life as well as increase its contribution to society; while maintaining ownership by the public.”

Not everyone was happy to hear the news about the decision. Tessa Ross, BAFTA winner for outstanding British contribution to cinema said :

“What’s going on with Channel 4 is clearly going to be a large and loud conversation over a period of time now, and the government’s intention is now obviously very clear. It’s extremely frightening and very worrying, because the understanding is missing. Where does the conversation start? How do we have the debate honestly, so that it’s not seen as punishment or misunderstanding about what bottom line businesses do.” 

Netflix Animation Erased 

The Wrap has reported that Phil Rynda and members of his team have been let go from Netflix. Rynda was Netflix’s Director of Creative Leadership and Development for Original Animation. 

The company itself suffered a massive drop in stock value last week, subscriber decline, and revenue loss in the first quarter of this year. 

Not only have animation series not been renewed, but high-profile projects have been canceled . One project that hit the chopping block is the adaptation of Jeff Smith’s comic book series “Bone”.  Another canceled project was Lauren Faust’s Toil and Trouble

Geena Davis 

Geena Davis, the award-winning actress and iconic “Thelma”, recently discussed gender parity in film with The Wie Suite. Davis founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004. Her non-profit organization is the only global research-based organization working collaboratively within the entertainment industry to create gender balance, foster inclusion and reduce negative stereotyping in family entertainment media.

Davis spoke about the statistics that influenced the decision to create the institute, if the industry is headed in the right direction from a macro perspective and more. 

“It comes back to the power of the wallet. It makes a difference when women pay attention to and support women filmmakers and women-led shows,” said Davis.
Her famous roles include:
  • - Thelma in Thelma and Louise  
  • - Dottie Hinson in A League of Their Own
  • - Barbara Maitland in Beetlejuice  

Her accomplishments include: 
  • - An Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1989 when she played Muriel Pritchett in The Accidental Tourist
  • - A Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama in 2006 when she played Mackenzie Allen in Commander In Chief
  • - The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (for work fighting gender bias on and off-screen in Hollywood) 

The Industry Unpaused 

Hollywood production is ramping up, BUT, so are COVID-19 numbers. We’ve seen Hollywood go from full-time, to fully-paused when COVID-19 hit. The industry has slowly made its way back with production and mask mandates. 

Los Angeles, the hub of film and TV, had the highest first-quarter numbers for film and TV production. Between January and March, three months resulted in 9,832 reported shooting days. You can find the breakdown of the shooting days here

Unfortunately, with increasing shooting days, COVID-19 numbers have increased as well. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said: 

“The entertainment industry is overrepresented in our reports of recent worksite clusters, with 18 clusters over the last three weeks, eight of which were reported between the 13th and April 19th, and that represented 20% of all reports of worksites for that week.” 

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Lauren Cali writes the weekly entertainment industry news blog for She’s a Social Media Specialist and a graduate of Elmhurst College.