Meghan Markle has been dealt another public blow after her animated Netflix series Pearl was scrapped by the streaming giant over the weekend.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), the series was secured “as one of the first fruits of the $US100 million development deal signed by Archwell, the production company set up by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex”.
The animated series, which first began production in July, was described by the Markle as a family series centred around a 12-year-old female protagonist and her “journey of discovery”.
“Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges,” Markle said of the series in a statement published by Variety.
“I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history. David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today.”
The shock decision comes as Netflix makes a number of necessary cuts in response to its growing subscriber crisis which has seen the subscription service “shed 200,000 subscribers globally, its first drop in a decade”, with the service predicting “it would shed 2 million more next quarter”, according to SMH.
According to SMH, the multi-billion dollar company saw a 50 per cent drop in their share price in April, 2022 alone, with a 72 per cent drop over the last year, down from $US700 to $US190.
The mass decline in subscribers could be connected to the company’s recent crackdown on password sharing and the announcement that Netflix’s prospective plans to introduce an ad-supported tier for a reduced subscription price. The service has also introduced price increases over the last month, with the company first alerting subscribers to the price hike in late January, 2022.
Markle recently drew attention regarding her other creative endeavours when she filed an application to trademark an English word originating from over five centuries ago for her exclusive Spotify podcast.
The podcast from Archwell Audio filed to trademark the podcast’s title “Archetypes” for exclusive use. The move was met with immediate criticism.
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The attempt to protect the word triggered concerns that if the trademark is approved Markle will likely face legal ramifications from Spotify and other companies already using the word.