“It’s a Ponzi Scheme,” ‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Slams Netflix

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Breaking Bad Bryan Cranston netflix

Credit: Sony Pictures

It appears that creators who have partnered with Netflix have much to say about the streamer, including Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, who recently called the company a “Ponzi scheme.”

Credit: Slickdeals

Related: Netflix Pays Zero Royalties for Its Most Popular Show Ever

Netflix hasn’t had the best reputation in the past couple of years, as the company was nearing a point where the stock had plummeted based on some controversial moves by the streamer. They initially lied to investors when the subscriber count dropped by a whopping 200,000 users, leading to chaos and tons of cutbacks on programming.

Oddly enough, the company would implement an ad-based tier and password crackdown that helped the streamer rebound. Still, Netflix is not without issues; things have only been more chaotic.

Squid Game became the highest-watched show in the streamer’s history, pulling in a staggering 1.65 million hours watched in the first 28 days of its release. This record has not yet been beaten, though Wednesday, Stranger Things Season 4, and One Piece got close.

Despite its massive popularity, word got out that creator Hwang Dong-hyuk was paid no royalties. What makes this situation even stranger is that it was reported Squid Game increased the profit of Netflix by $900 million. It appears the issues streamers have caused with writers and creators is not lost on Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, who slammed the streamer in a new interview.

Vince Gilligan of ‘Breaking Bad’ Criticizes Netflix

breaking bad jesse and walter netflix
Credit: Netflix

Vince Gilligan is the writer, director, and creator behind Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Though both shows began on AMC, they have also gained huge success on Netflix. However, the streamer’s conduct is not without its issues. According to Gilligan:

 “The whole thing feels like it’s teetering and about to collapse. Strike or no strike, who knows how this thing progresses. Suddenly, do we go from 700 shows back to 100? I’m generally a little pessimistic about how all of this continues because at a certain point, Wall Street stockholders demand that the companies be profitable. I don’t understand the system, but sometimes it feels like a Ponzi scheme to me. It’s all way beyond my paygrade, but there’s a lot of unrest in the labor world because people are looking around and saying, ‘How is this going to work in the long term?’ Maybe it won’t.”

One of the biggest issues with the industry strikes was that actors and writers felt they were not compensated for their work on shows and films that landed on streamers. No streaming company had to offer up its streaming numbers for any given property, so actors and writers were all paid their base value for their work and nothing more.

The emergence of AI also put a stranglehold on the worry that programs like ChatGPT could replicate a script, cutting out what a writer would be hired for in the first place. Despite the concerns felt amongst the Hollywood scene, the WGA settled on a new deal to protect the writers regarding both streaming numbers and AI being prevalent.

That is the case for the SAG-AFTRA strike, though the producers’ union has been meeting with the actors union all this week also to strike a new fair deal for that organization.

Vince Gilligan is just one of the creators who have criticized how streamers like Netflix have been able to set the market without any sort of pushback. However, this industry strike may have been needed to ensure that streamers are more forthright with information and profit sharing.

Gilligan is working on his new series, which is more on the sci-fi side of things, but we hope the show will also end up somewhere where droves of fans can watch it. He has hit two home runs with Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, and we imagine his new show will be the same.

Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad
Credit: Sony Pictures

Related: Netflix Will Soon Restrict Viewership on ‘Stranger Things’

His new series will stream on AppleTV+ and stars Better Call Saul alum Rhea Seehorn. Whatever issues Gilligan has with Netflix are evident, as he has switched his new show to a competitor. Still, we can’t wait to see what he does next.

What do you think of Vince Gilligan’s comments on Netflix? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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