Ted Sarandos Rebuffs Criticism of Netflix Films: ‘We Have Made and Are Making Great Films’

During Thursday’s Netflix earnings call, co-CEO Ted Sarandos bristled when a question was brought up regarding a recent New York Times article about the company and its film slate, particularly in the wake of film chairman Scott Stuber’s exit and the appointment of Dan Lin.

“I would say, just to be clear, there is no appetite to make fewer films,” Sarandos said. “But there is an unlimited appetite to make better films, always. We have made and we are making great films. We want to make them better, of course.”

And it’s true. Netflix does consistently make great films, with recent triumphs like “The Power of the Dog,” “The Irishman,” “Glass Onion,” “Roma” and “May December.” They’ve been nominated for many Oscars but have yet to achieve the elusive Best Picture statue. But, to the point of the streamer’s many critics, there are also hugely expensive, instantly forgettable fare like “Red Notice” and “The Gray Man.” According to the report earlier this week, chief content officer Bela Bajaria has been brought on the Netflix Film to make better films.

But Sarandos seems enthused with the appointment of Lin.

“He just joined a couple of weeks ago and he’s joined us running 100 miles an hour. Bela has said this publicly that our strategy remains variety and quality and she’s doing an amazing job of bringing new, fresh thinking to our content and our content organization,” Sarandos said, referring to the reorganization of the film team to have executives focused on specific genres instead of specific budgets.

“Bringing Dan on board is a great example of that. We want to have a lot of movies. We want them to thrill our audiences and they all have different tastes and we want them all to be great. We take a very audience-centric view of what quality is,” Sarandos said.

“And Dan knows that from having produced for us as the CEO of Rideback,” the executive continued. “He produced the Oscar-nominated film ‘The Two Popes’ and ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ recently. He understands Netflix and the audience really, really well, and his success in live action and animation is very hard to define in the business. We’re thrilled he’s doing it here.”

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