Bela Bajaria To Lead International Non-English TV Originals For Netflix, Erik Barmack Segues To Producing

Before joining Netflix, Bajaria served as President of Universal Television where she produced hit series including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None and more.
Some of the series that Netflix has picked up internationally under that model include new breakout You, which became an instant hit on the streaming platform and will be a full-fledged Netflix original in Season 2, Riverdale, Black Lightning, Star Trek: Discovery, Good Girls as well as UK hit Bodyguard.
A little over two years after Bela Bajaria joined Netflix as VP Content, she is taking on a new role at the streaming giant. She will lead international non-English TV originals (scripted, unscripted, comedy in all international markets where Netflix is available (except Korea and Japan).
“Erik has been transformational for Netflix," Sarandos said. "Hits such as Dark, Sacred Games and Elite helped put us on the map and we wish him great success with his next chapter.”
Over the past couple of years, Netflix also launched several successful unscripted series, including the Queer Eye reboot, Nailed It and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, winning its first reality series Emmy last fall for Queer Eye.
Said Barmack, “Leading the Netflix international originals team these last few years has been the adventure of a lifetime — I couldn’t be more proud of everything we achieved and wish the team all the best for the future.”
Netflix veteran Erik Barmack, who served as VP, International Originals for Latin America, EMEA and India, shepherding original series and other content in those territories, is leaving to launch his own production company.
"She is the perfect person to build on our international efforts, helping to bring the world’s stories to the world whatever the language”. “Bela Bajaria is an incredible creative talent — bringing global hits like You, Nailed It and Queer Eye to Netflix," Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said.
Barmack, who has been at Netflix for eight years, is credited as the architect of the network's international originals strategy.
Netflix is just scratching the surface on what’s possible and I could not be more excited to get started,” Bajaria said.” /> “We have an amazing opportunity to bring stories from different cultures and in different languages to audiences all around the world.
"I can say without any hesitancy that our show You wouldn’t still be on the air or what it is without her and her team’s steadfast partnership.” “Like many showrunners I’ve wanted to work with Bela for years, but it wasn’t until she came to Netflix that I got to experience first hand and be the beneficiary of her creative support for storytellers and bold storytelling," said Greg Berlanti, co-creator/executive producer of You and executive producer of Riverdale, Black Lightning as well as Netflix original series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
Its main competitors seeking global footprint are doing the same, with the domestic streaming wars spreading oversees as Internet networks are looking to reach the majority of the world's 7.5 billion population, only 350 million of which are native English speakers. With 80% of Netflix's new subscriber signups coming from foreign territories the last few quarters, the Internet network has significantly increased its investment in non-English TV originals. International content has been key to streaming platforms' growth and has emerged as the new battleground, with Netflix and Amazon often engaging in bidding wars over locally produced content.
She spearheaded the introduction of a new co-licensing model, under which Netflix is collaborating with existing studios on series that air on other linear or digital networks domestically, with Netflix taking first-run global distribution in as many territories as available. She was tasked with establishing Netflix as a player in the unscripted space and forging a stronger relationship with traditional studios by finding new ways to do business with them. Bajaria, who remains VP Content, joined Netflix in October 2016.
Netflix has had several crossover non-English language hits already, shepherded by Barmack, including Spain's Elite, watched by more than 20 million member households, Turkey's Protector, viewed by more than 10 million, Mexico's Casa de las Flores, Germany's Dark and India's Sacred Games. To help those shows find a global audience, Netflix offers non-English originals in up to 10 languages dubbed and subtitles in more than 25 languages.
Bajaria had been in charge of original unscripted series, talk shows and scripted series that are co-licensed with traditional studios. (Holland already had been overseeing English-language international series that air as Netflix originals outside of the UK, such as The Crown and Sex Education.) All English-language series — scripted and unscripted —  will now shift to VP Original Content Cindy Holland, with Bajaria focusing on non-English language ones.

Netflix India Petitioned To Delete Content From ‘Sacred Games’ Series

India heavily censors its movies and television, but does not censor Internet content.
Netflix's Indian operation has not yet responded to the petition.” />
Sacred Games is set in Mumbai and examines the gritty underworld and politics scene in that city. It bowed this month and is based on a 2006 novel by Vikram Chandra
As he shakes hands with world leaders, a voice-over talks of his appeasement of Muslims in a case involving divorce rights for Muslim women. Gandhi is referred to as a “fattu,” a Hindi slang word for a coward, in one scene deemed objectionable.
“The show ‘Sacred Games’ has inappropriate dialogues, political attacks and even speeches, which are derogatory in nature and harms the reputation of the former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi,” the petition said.
Netflix is being taken to court in India and asked to delete certain "offensive scenes" and remarks about former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in its original series, Sacred Games.
Bhalla is a member of the opposition Congress party, which Gandhi led until his assassination in 1991. The Delhi High court is studying a petition filed by Nikhil Bhalla against Netflix, which is producing Sacred Games as its first Indian original series.
His son, Rahul Gandhi, is the current party president. Gandhi became prime minister after his mother Indira was assassinated in 1984.
Netflix has been asked to delete any derogatory remarks made directly or indirectly against Rajiv Gandhi or his family. “We cannot afford to, in the name of freedom of speech allow anything to be beamed in every home without regard to its impact on society,” the petition said.