Netflix Launches Book Club to Feature Adaptations

Netflix has announced the Netflix Book Club, inspired by the service’s many book-based series such as “Bridgerton” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Through the Netflix Book Club, readers will hear about books, films and series adaptations first — and get exclusive access to the process behind bringing these books from page to screen.

Three-time Emmy Award winner and star of the series adaptation “Orange Is the New Black” Uzo Aduba will be the inaugural host, with Netflix and Starbucks partnering on the Club.

Uzo will announce monthly book selections that will be making their way to Netflix and host conversations about the adaptation process with cast, creators and authors over a cup of coffee at Starbucks in a new social series, “But Have You Read the Book?” The social series will kick off on Nov. 16 and live on the Still Watching Netflix YouTube Channel and the Netflix U.S. Facebook channel.

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Netflix Book Club’s first pick of the month will kick off with Nella Larsen’s Harlem Renaissance-era novel Passing to coincide with Netflix’s Nov. 10 release of the movie adaptation, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was recently seen at the New York Film Festival. Directed and written by Rebecca Hall and starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, Passing follows the story of two Black women who can pass as white and choose to live on opposite sides of the color line in 1929 New York.

“From ‘Bridgerton,’ ‘To All the Boys’ and ‘Sweet Magnolias’ to ‘Queen’s Gambit,’ ‘Unorthodox,’ ‘Virgin River’ and of course ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ Netflix loves bringing books to life on screen and creating conversation with passionate readers and fans,” Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to partner with Starbucks and excited that the incredible Uzo Aduba will be our host to discuss favorite books and what goes into the writing, developing, casting and creating of our beloved series and films.”

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked friends, ‘But have you read the book?’ So I’m excited to host Netflix Book Club and bring together loyal book fans, TV and movie obsessives and the creators behind their favorite stories,” Aduba said in a statement.I can’t wait to dive deep into the creative process and what it takes to bring a book to life.”

“Over the years coffee and coffeehouses have been bringing communities together for a shared experience and conversation about what we are reading and watching,” Starbucks CMO Brady Brewer said in a statement. “The new relationship we’ve formed with Netflix for ‘But Have You Read the Book?’ is an exciting way to bring these conversations from the third place to our customers wherever they are.”

Netflix’s $12 Billion Stock Drop Due to Racism?

NEWS ANALYSIS — The close of Netflix’s first business day (June 25) following the ouster of its communications boss for racist comments saw the subscription streaming video pioneer’s stock lose $12 billion in valuation.

Netflix shares closed down 6.7% — the largest drop since 2016 when it elected not to renew a content license agreement with Epix, the multi-platform pay-TV channel co-owned at the time by MGM, Lionsgate and Paramount Pictures.

To some, the decline reflected short sellers reacting to co-founder/CEO Reed Hastings’ decision to terminate Jonathan Friedland, head of Netflix’s PR team, for repeated racist comments in the workplace.

Hastings, in a June 22 email to employees, attempted to intellectualize his reasons for not terminating Friedland the first time he used the “N-word” in a company meeting reportedly about insensitive words.

“We hoped this was an awful anomaly never to be repeated,” Hastings wrote.

The executive then went on to say that his “privilege” had likely caused him to not comprehend the seriousness of the issue and how offensive the use of the racial slur by “non-black people” is.

“There is not a way to neutralize the emotion and history behind the word in any context,” Hastings wrote.

But does Wall Street really care about social issues, including race?

Starbucks last month closed 8,000 stores in the United States for racial-bias training after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia store while waiting for a friend — and not buying anything.

The April 12 incident caused a national uproar regarding ongoing concerns about racial profiling (the Starbuck store’s manager called police) and police response. The two men said they feared for their lives when the authorities arrived.

Regardless, Starbuck’s stock went up slightly following the event.

To Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, Netflix’s market correction wasn’t directly due to social issues.

Instead, the analyst contends some investors used the episode to cool an overheated stock. Netflix’s market capitalization in May briefly topped Disney and Comcast.

“It has appreciated more than any of big tech this year, so it was a little frothy,” Pachter said in an email.