Original Article By Luc Olinga At TheStreet.com

Netflix  (NFLX) – Get Netflix, Inc. Report is ​​in the middle of a nightmare. The entertainment-streaming company reported that in the first quarter it lost 200,000 global subscribers and expects to lose another 2 million in Q2. And the stock is slumping.

This subscriber drop prompted the group to consider a potentially revolutionary move: Netflix will, for the first time, consider a lower-priced version of the service that would displays ads during the programming. 

“Those who have followed Netflix know that I’ve been against the complexity of advertising, and a big fan of the simplicity of subscription,” Chief Executive Reed Hastings told investors on a conference call late Tuesday. “But as much as I’m a fan of that, I’m a bigger fan of consumer choice.”  

These difficulties have raised broader questions about the viability of the streaming industry, which is saturated, especially in the U.S. Netflix faces fierce competition from Disney+  (DIS) – Get Walt Disney Company Report, Amazon Prime  (AMZN) – Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report, Apple TV+  (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report, Peacock  (CCZ) – Get Comcast Corp. Report, HBO Max  (WBD) – Get WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY, INC. Report and others.

This competition — as well as the suspension of its services in Russia — has been widely reported as partly responsible for Netflix’s problems.

But Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who never hesitates to tell the world what he thinks, sees another cause for the difficulties of the cord-cutting pioneer.

Blame It on The Woke Mind Virus

“The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable,” the billionaire tweeted as a comment on the earnings report. The post to which he responded stated that this was the first time in 10 years that Netflix had seen such a fall in subscribers. 

The tech tycoon did not give further details. 

“Woke mind virus is the biggest threat to the civilization,” a user wrote back to Musk.

The billionaire answered simply, “Yes.” 

Tesla’s  (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report CEO seems to be referring to the Dave Chappelle matter from a few months ago. 

Musk has been a staunch defender of the controversial — and successful — comedian. Netflix is ​known for defending feminist and LGBTQ+ values.

So the streaming platform was undoubtedly disillusioned when it discovered that one of its flagship shows, Dave Chappelle’s The Closer, was criticized even by some of its employees. 

The program featured Chappelle talking about transgender people and his experience with a transgender comedian. Chappelle was sharply criticized by LGBTQ+ groups for some of his jokes, which the groups considered homophobic and transphobic.

This isn’t the first time Musk has taken on the woke movement. Last December, during an interview with the Babylon Bee, a conservative satire website that usually focuses on current political trends and topics, the billionaire defended Chappelle.

“Wokeness basically wants to make comedy illegal,” Musk said during that interview. “Trying to shut down Chappelle, come on, man, that’s crazy. Do we want a humorless society that is simply rife with condemnation and hate basically? At its heart, wokeness is divisive, exclusionary, and hateful. It basically gives mean people a shield to be mean and cruel, armored in false virtue.”

Originally, woke designated being aware of, and mobilized to correct, the injustices suffered by ethnic, sexual and religious minorities and all forms of discrimination. 

But the word is also derided today as an instrument of censorship and synonymous with cancel culture.

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