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Netflix Loses One Million Subscribers, Less Than Half of Its Anticipated Loss 

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In a letter to shareholders, the company said it had a variety of plans to boost its revenue, including password sharing crackdowns and a new ad-supported tier. 


Netflix’s Subscriber Count  

Netflix revealed in a Tuesday earnings report that it lost 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter of the year. That substantial loss, however, was seen as a victory for the streaming service.

After losing 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, Netflix had initially predicted it would lose two million in the second. The figures revealed Tuesday mark a loss not even half as severe as anticipated, giving the company an unexpected win.

After two consecutive quarters of loss, Netflix has a more optimistic outlook for the rest of the year, expecting to add one million subscribers in the next three months. 

In a letter to shareholders, the company said that its slowed growth was tied to connected TV adoption, account sharing, competition, the impacts of the war in Ukraine, and larger economic issues.

We’ve now had more time to understand these issues, as well as how best to address them,” Netflix said. 

Going forward, the streaming giant vowed to “focus on better monetizing usage” of its service through its plans to offer an ad-supported tier and crack down on password sharing.

Ad Tier and Password Crackdowns

The proposed ad-supported option would come at a lower cost than current subscription plans, which would remain ad-free. With a goal of launching in early 2023, Microsoft has already been announced as Netflix’s technology and sales partner.

Netflix said it would first introduce this tier in a handful of markets with high advertising spending, then do a larger rollout as it learns about how to improve the offering. 

Advertising business in a few years will likely look quite different than what it looks like on day one,” the letter said. 

Larger details regarding the ad tier remain unknown, but Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said during an earnings video that not all of the platform’s content will be immediately available to those who chose the option.

The company’s plans to restrict the ability to share passwords with out-of-household users will likely prove to be more controversial. Trials for this are already underway, and according to several reports, users in certain test countries are being charged a $2.99 fee to add a home to their accounts. 

It is unclear exactly what a larger rollout of this feature will look like. Netflix told shareholders that it is still in the “early stages of working to monetize the 100m+ households” that use the streaming service without directly paying for it. 

“We know this will be a change for our members,” the company said. “As such, we have launched two different approaches in Latin America to learn more. Our goal is to find an easy-to-use paid sharing offering that we believe works for our members and our business that we can roll out in 2023.”

The crackdown has been met with frustration and criticism online from those who feel this model would not work for families who do not all live in one house together. Whether or not Netflix will cater to these concerns is unclear, as it has repeatedly maintained that password sharing has played a major part in its recent struggles. 

See what others are saying: (NPR) (The Verge) (CNBC)

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Andrew Tate is All Over TikTok. What Now?

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Tate has become known for sharing outright misogynistic beliefs online, many of which promote violence against women.


Who is Andrew Tate?

The sudden and increasing rise of online personality Andrew Tate — who regularly spews violently misogynistic rhetoric — has left audiences concerned by his content grappling with one question: How can one condemn Tate without simultaneously promoting him?

In the past, Tate has said that rape victims should bear some “responsibility” for what happened to them.

He believes women who make money on OnlyFans owe a cut of that check to their boyfriend or husband because “she belongs to that man.” He does not believe a man would owe his girlfriend the same share. 

Tate thinks women should clean up without being asked and has said he would only administer CPR on “a hot female.” If he is dating a woman, he says he has “responsibility over her,” and therefore, “must have a degree of authority” over her as well.

When asked how he would respond to a girl accusing him of cheating, he said, “It’s bang out the machete, boom in her face, and then grip her up by the neck.”

The American-born and U.K.-raised former kickboxer now lives in Romania, claiming he moved partially because he thinks it would be easier to evade rape charges in the country. 

“I’m not a rapist, but I like the idea of just being able to do what I want. I like being free,” he reportedly said. 

Tate is also reportedly involved in an investigation in Romania over accusations that a 21-year-old woman was being held against her will at the home he shares with his brother. While Tate has denied wrongdoing, authorities have said the investigation into the matter includes human trafficking and rape allegations. 

His beliefs are not shared only among a fringe group of online users. While Tate has been banned from Twitter and does not have a TikTok account of his own, his span still reaches far and wide. Videos of him on TikTok have amassed over 11 billion views. Since early July, Google searches for him have skyrocketed, surpassing ones for podcaster Joe Rogan and musician Taylor Swift.

The Fine Line of Criticizing Tate

His content is largely aimed at young men and teenage boys, raising concerns over how to minimize the potential damage Tate’s sexism can have on young and developing minds. In Tate’s own words, he believes that if his critics want him to disappear, they should ignore him. 

“The smartest thing my haters could do is never mention me again,” he said in one video that has been shared online.

“All you are doing is accelerating my endless conquest.” 

Giving Tate’s name the silent treatment is a strategy some hope could work. Australian radio and television personality Abbie Chatfield said her initial instinct was to ignore Tate as she faced endless requests to discuss him. 

“I want to try to suffocate him of any oxygen in media because the more I engage with his content – even to research, for a radio segment – if I look at his TikToks, or he’s tagged in a TikTok and I look at it for too long, that feeds the algorithm and it feeds out more to my followers and to the followers who are already engaging in that content,” she explained on “The Project.”

However, she also believes his presence might be too large to turn a blind eye to, but is still unsure of how to address him without feeding an algorithm that supports him.

“It is getting a bit too big to ignore now, but I do still fear that if I speak about it, to my followers or to my listeners of my podcast, it doesn’t really achieve anything,” she explained. “I’m sure those who are my listeners already feel this way.”

Chatfield knows firsthand how Tate’s words lead to real-life consequences. She said receives direct messages online “from what appear to be early teen boys saying, ‘I hope Andrew Tate destroys you.’”

Because of this, some fear ignoring Tate is not the answer. 

“Though pretending Tate doesn’t exist would starve him of attention that he clearly craves, it wouldn’t cut off his revenue – or his ability to exploit, and perhaps harm, others,” Ash Sarkar wrote for GQ.

Tate’s Rise to Online Fame

Tate’s rapid rise online can largely be attributed to his loyal fans, some of whom are part of a venture run by Tate called Hustler’s University. 

As Tate describes it on the website, for $49 a month, Hustler’s University introduces people to “a community where me and dozens of War Room members will teach YOU exactly how to make money.​”

The website claims to give access to stock and crypto analysis, NFTs, copywriting, affiliate marketing, and more avenues under the guidance of professors that are “verified” by Tate. 

While Tate denies that there is anything nefarious about Hustler’s University, many have compared it to a multi-level marketing scheme. 

Some members of Hustler’s University, as well as other casual viewers of Tate’s content, feel an incentive to promote Tate on TikTok, strategically choosing some of his most controversial statements to share on the app to increase engagement and views. 

While TikTok has said it does not tolerate misogynistic rhetoric and is reviewing this content, the main issue centers around the fact that the app’s algorithm is designed to promote people like Tate. Content with shock value that attracts comments is TikTok’s bread and butter. The more people engage with a video, the more likely it is to end up on another user’s feed. This was all it took for Tate to become a main topic of conversation on the platform over just the course of a few weeks. 

The Guardian published an investigative report examining just how this worked by making an account for an “imaginary” 18-year-old boy. It was first fed generic content like dog videos and comedy bits, as well as discussions about men’s mental health. The content then began to skew to more male-based discussions, and then “without ‘liking’ or searching for any content proactively” was slowly filled with videos of Tate sharing his sexist takes. 

According to The Guardian, while other controversial figures like Jordan Peterson also came up, Tate was the prominent face.

Because young men can so quickly be fed so much Tate without even actively suggesting any interest in him, many fear that women will suffer. 

“Women are under threat, and we have been for generations,” Lucy Cocoran wrote for Marie Claire. “Men like Andrew Tate are making the world even more unsafe for women and girls who are already terrified of becoming another statistic.”

See what others are saying: (The Guardian) (GQ) (Marlie Claire)

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Kathy Hilton Faces Backlash For Mistaking Lizzo as “Precious”

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Many found the mix-up to be both fatphobic and racist.


Hilton’s Blunder

“Real Housewives” star Kathy Hilton is facing heat online for confusing Grammy Award-winning popstar Lizzo with Gabourey Sidibe’s titular character in the 2009 film “Precious.”

Hilton made an appearance on Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” on Wednesday night alongside her “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” co-star Crystal Kung Minkoff. During the show, they played a game where Hilton, who has become famous on the show for mixing people up, had to identify celebrities based on a photo of them. 

Hilton struck out on several stars, including Ryan Reynolds. Viewers were shocked, however, when they witnessed her incorrectly guess who Lizzo is. 

“I feel like I do [know her],” the reality star said while looking at a photo of the “About Damn Time” singer. “Precious?”

Cohen, Minkoff, and the crowd laughed in response.

“That is Lizzo,” Cohen clarified.   

“She is precious though, Lizzo is precious,” Minkoff said in an attempt to save Hilton from her blunder.

“That’s what I call her, her nickname is ‘Precious’ to me,” Hilton added.

Hilton Faces Backlash

Many online were quick to condemn Hilton for the mix-up, horrified that instead of passing on the question, she offered up the name of a fictional Black character. Sidibe was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as Precious.

“When Precious came out, a lot of people used the character’s name as a derogatory label to fuel their fatphobia and to bully,” one person wrote. “So no, I don’t think that it’s funny that Lizzo, home minding her own business, had to watch herself be called Precious in front of millions on live tv.”

“Now, I know Kathy Hilton doesn’t know much, but how the hell did she manage to confuse Lizzo with Gabourey Sidibe?” another person said. “That certainly plays into the ‘we all look alike to them’ trope.”

Some suggested that Hilton may have confused Lizzo for model Precious Lee, but argued that either way, “Kathy was wrong.”

“Whether it was Precious Lee or ‘Precious,’ the fictitious character, guess what? Neither are Lizzo and and ‘I don’t know’ would have sufficed,” one Twitter user wrote. “Black people get confused often. And yes, it’s often racist.”

As Hilton’s mistake began to trend on Twitter, a handful of fans ushered to her defense, arguing that she is known for her confusion and did not mean to offend with her remark. 

Still, many believed that was not a strong enough justification. 

“These women look nothing alike,” one person said. “It’s unclear why you’re willing to die on this anti-Black, fatphobic hill. Saying ‘Kathy confuses everyone’ is her failing. It excuses nothing.”

According to the Queens of Bravo Twitter account, Hilton responded to an Instagram comment blaming the matter on her poor vision. 

“The screen was so far away and my vision is terrible if you recall,” she wrote in the screenshotted comment.

See what others are saying: (Entertainment Weekly) (USA Today) (The Cut)

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Jennette McCurdy Explains “Attention-Grabbing” Memoir Title: It’s “Something I Mean Sincerely”

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The book sparked public discourse about child stardom and parental abuse after hitting shelves on Tuesday. 


McCurdy Speaks to Sincerity of Title

Jennette McCurdy shocked audiences when she announced her memoir would be titled “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” but the former Nickelodeon star says the name comes with good reason. 

“I’m Glad My Mom Died” was released on Tuesday to high anticipation. It has already been praised for its vulnerable examination of child stardom and the often dark realities that lurk behind the glamor of Hollywood. 

In the book, McCurdy discusses the abuse she faced at the hands of her mother, who forced her into acting at a young age, as well as the abuse she faced on set by a high-power figure at Nickelodeon. 

McCurdy’s mother died after a long battle with breast cancer in 2013. She says the title speaks to how she genuinely feels looking back on those events. 

“This title, is, I get that it’s attention-grabbing,” McCurdy told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday. “But it’s also something I mean sincerely. I’m not saying it at all in a flippant way.” 

“I think that anybody who has experienced parental abuse understands this title and I think anybody who has a sense of humor understands this title,” she continued.

“What do you think your mom would say about it?” host George Stephanopoulos asked. 

“I wouldn’t have written the book if my mom were alive,” the former “iCarly” star explained. “I would still have my identity dictated by her.” 

Allegations in Memoir

According to published excerpts of the memoir, McCurdy said she grew up striving to please her mother, but has realized in hindsight that much of her mother’s behavior was abusive. When young McCurdy would express that she wanted to quit acting, her mother would respond with sobs, pleading that her daughter loves her career and should continue it. 

McCurdy also wrote that when she was eight years old, her mother insisted on wiping her behind after using the bathroom, claiming she did not believe McCurdy could do so correctly on her own. The actress said she experienced similar disturbing behavior through her tweens as her mother bathed and showered her, regularly giving her “breast and ‘front butt’” exams to check for cancer.

McCurdy further alleges that her mother aided her in having an eating disorder when she was just 11 years old. In hopes of fighting off puberty, McCurdy told her mother she wanted to stay small. Her mother suggested they try calorie restriction, cutting McCurdy’s intake to just 1,000 calories per day. Sometimes, McCurdy said she would only eat 500 calories. She felt this restriction brought her closer to and impressed her mother.

After struggling with anorexia for several years, McCurdy later began binge eating and suffering from bulimia. 

Through therapy and other coping tools, she learned how to process these traumas and reckon with the truths behind her upbringing. 

“My whole childhood and adolescence were very exploited,” McCurdy told The New York Times. “It still gives my nervous system a reaction to say it. There were cases where people had the best intentions and maybe didn’t know what they were doing. And also cases where they did — they knew exactly what they were doing.”

See what others are saying: (The New York Times) (E! News) (Entertainment Tonight)

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