Netflix and Spotify have both independently advertised for staff to help make shows being produced by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The couple has so far delivered just 35 minutes of content to Spotify and nothing to Netflix, despite signing deals reportedly worth in excess of $120 million with the two companies almost 16 months ago.
Andrea Oxley, who describes herself as a recruiting researcher for original animated series at Netflix Animation, has posted on Instagram saying the company is “hiring” adding, “Meghan Markle’s project, Pearl, is looking for a Production Designer. We’re looking for someone with STRONG visdev skills. Think you have what it takes? Apply now on our website!”
The Instagram post came after Spotify said on LinkedIn it was also hiring new recruits to work on Archewell products. The firm said they were looking for staff with “an interest in the intersection of social activism and popular culture” to be involved with “every step” of the process, the Daily Mail reported.
The development comes as the musician Neil Young said he would no longer allow his music on Spotify in protest over the streamer’s deal with vaccine skeptic Joe Rogan. Harry criticized Rogan in an interview with Dax Sheppard, but he has appeared unwilling to criticize his commercial partners.
He has defended Netflix—whose stock slumped by an astonishing 40 percent in the last month as investors fretted over slowing subscriber numbers—over its tent-pole show The Crown, saying it was not offensive to him because it was clearly fiction, in a bus-stop interview with James Corden. Harry told Oprah Winfrey that he had to sign commercial deals in order to afford security for his family.
The move to hire staff for Pearl by Netflix has been interpreted by arch-Sussex critics the Daily Mail, which first reported the new hiring notices, as evidence the streaming giant is putting pressure on Meghan and Harry to deliver their debut show, an animation inspired by influential women, of which Elton John’s husband, David Furnish, is an executive producer.
A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan declined to comment.
The Pearl project was first announced in July last year, when it was described as a “family series that centers on the adventures of a 12-year-old girl who is inspired by a variety of 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,” Meghan said in a statement. “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. David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today.”
Harry and Meghan made a 35-minute podcast for Spotify featuring interviews with the celebrity friends at the end of 2020, and promised more episodes in 2021, but they never materialized.