Netflix halts Russian shows & acquisitions, as Banijay joins sales boycott

Pic: Alamy

Netflix has paused all production and acquisitions in Russia while Banijay is joining a swathe of other distributors in suspending its business in the country, as the country’s invasion of Ukraine continues.

The world’s biggest streamer had a growing slate of Russian dramas on its books, including detective show Zato, a reimagining of Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to be known as Anna K, and charity-set drama Nothing Special, alongside an untitled show.

Production on Zato has now been suspended and acquisitions activity has been paused, according to Variety, which broke the news. Anna K and Nothing Special wrapped late last year.

Netflix has already said it will defy new regulations and refuse to carry Russian channels on its service in the country, as widespread economic action spreads.

Yesterday, All3Media International, BBC Studios (BBCS), ITV Studios (ITVS) and Fremantle suspended business with Russian firms and today Banijay confirmed it too had stopped all production and distribution activities in the country.

“As a vast global content production and distribution business, we, like most of the industry, have long historically had deals in-place across Russia,” Banijay said in a statement. “However, in light of recent events, we have taken the decision not to activate any new agreements in the region relating to production, distribution (sales and licensing) and general commercial matters, thereby freezing our activity there until further notice.

“We are utterly saddened by the horrendous situation in Ukraine and our thoughts go to all those affected.”

The company, which has just one Russia-based production firms after WeiT Mediam was merged with Mastiff Russia, is also understood to be donating €100,000 ($110,000) to support charities supporting Ukraine.

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