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Netflix reportedly cancels Meghan Markle's animated series amid cutbacks

Business Insider US
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on day two of the Invictus Games 2020 in Netherlands in 2022.
Patrick van Katwijk/Getty Images
  • Deadline reported that Meghan Markle's Netflix animated series, "Pearl," was canceled. 
  • The report comes as Netflix is "pulling back" on spending after losing 200,000 subscribers in early 2022. 
  • Markle and Prince Harry signed a multi-year deal with Netflix in 2020.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Netflix canceled the Duchess of Sussex's animated series amid spending cuts prompted by a tumbling stock price and dwindling subscribers.

Deadline reported that Netflix quietly canceled "Pearl," the working title for an animated series created by Meghan Markle under Archewell Productions. Archewell Productions, Markle and Prince Harry's production company, had completed a multi-year deal with Netflix in September 2020. 

"Pearl" was expected to be the company's first animated series and was still in development, Deadline reported. The outlet noted that "Pearl" was scrapped alongside two other animated series but that Netflix insiders remained committed to creating several separate projects with Archewell Productions.

Deadline reported that the cancellation came amid the streaming site's cutbacks. 

Representatives for Archewell Productions, Markle, and Netflix did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. 

In April, Insider's Natalie Jarvey and Elaine Low reported that Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers during the first three months of 2022 and predicted losing more in the second quarter. The subscriber plunge caused the company's stock price to fall, with Netflix losing more than 35% of its value overnight. The last time Netflix reported a streaming loss was in 2011. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, CFO Spencer Neumann said that Netflix would be "pulling back" some of its spending over the next two years.

"We're pulling back on some of our spend growth across both content and non-content spend," Neumann said, THR reported. 

Archewell Productions announced Markle's animated project in July 2021 on its website, where it also said a docuseries focused on Prince Harry's Invictus Games is in the works. According to the website, "Pearl" is centred around an adventurous 12-year-old girl inspired by influential women from history. 

"Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life's daily challenges. 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," Markle said in a statement.

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