Netflix ousts beloved executive, Oscars set new eligibility requirements

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As Netflix looks to expand outside the United States, longtime executive Cindy Holland has been replaced by Bela Bajaria as the head of global television. Photo by Pixabay.

Two months after appointing Ted Sarandos as co-CEO, Netflix has continued to rearrange its upper leadership structure. Cindy Holland, the well-liked executive who spearheaded the first wave of Netflix originals like “Orange is the New Black” and “Stranger Things,” announced her exit on Tuesday evening, with vice president of content Bela Bajaria taking her place. 

Bajaria will take Holland’s former position as head of global television. Bajaria previously helmed the company’s international programming and brought hits to the streaming service, including “You” and the “Queer Eye” reboot. Netflix has increased its focus on international markets in recent years. This year, the streaming network premiered its first original series produced in Africa, “Queen Sono.”

This news arrives the same week as Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings’ new book “No Rules Rules.” In the book, Hastings spells out his influential management philosophy, including his belief in a “keeper test” — employees you wouldn’t fight to keep should be let go with sizable severance packages.

Meanwhile, starting in 2024, films competing in the Oscars’ Best Picture category must satisfy a number of diversity requirements -- onscreen or behind the camera. 

Although the new rules have been criticized by some in Hollywood for enforcing onscreen diversity, films can fulfill the requirements without necessarily changing their content. For example, films like “1917” with majority-white casts can still fulfill the requirements by providing internships for underrepresented groups, or by hiring a diverse crew or marketing team.

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