MoNique calls for a boycott of Netflix

Mo’Nique, legendary comedian and Academy Award winner, is calling out Netflix for allegedly offering her $500,000 for a stand-up slapstick special while offering millions to Amy Schumer, Dave Chappelle, and Chris Rock.

In a tweet, Mo’Nique called for a boycott of Netflix on the grounds of color and gender bias 😛 TAGEND

She also posted a video on Instagram describing her negotiations with Netflix 😛 TAGEND

#BOYCOTT #NETFLIX FOR #COLORBIAS AND #GENDERBIAS. PLEASE STAND WITH ME. I LOVE US .

A post shared by Mo’nique (@ therealmoworldwide) on

In the video, Mo’Nique explains that her team brought up Amy Schumer’s $11 million offer and asked why there was such a discrepancies between Schumer’s offer and Mo’Nique’s. Netflix allegedly responded that they don’t look at resumes, but utilized Schumer’s sold-out MSG arena and a big blockbuster movie over the summer as justification for her offer.

“Is that not Amy Schumer’s resume? ” asks Mo’Nique.

According to the comedian, Chappelle and Rock were offered $20 million, and Schumer allegedly received $13 million after retroactively negotiating for an extra$ 2 million.

Since Mo’Nique’s call for a boycott, Wanda Sykes has joined in saying she was offered less than half of Mo’Nique’s $500 K.

Netflix does not comment on contract negotiations, but we reached out and will update the post if we hear back.

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Netflix is now worth more than $100B

Netflix crossed a fun milestone today, intersecting the $100 billion mark for the open market cap as it once again astonished industry commentators with better-than-expected growth in its subscribers.

We’ll get to the financial numbers in a minute but, as usual, the big tale here is that it continues to wow Wall Street with impressive growth in its subscriber numbers. The company said it added more than 8 million new subscribers total after already defining pretty robust targets for the fourth quarter this year, devoting it a healthy pushing as it traversed the $100 billion mark after research reports came out this afternoon.

Here’s the rundown 😛 TAGEND

Netflix’s biggest challenge has been to aggressively invest in good original content that’s going to bring in new subscribers. While its depicts may clean up at various awardings indicates like the Emmys, it still has to show that it can convert those awards into raw subscribers. But thanks to what appears to be continuing success with its original content like Stranger Things, as well other returning seasons for shows like The Crown, it’s been able to continue its staggering run.

While the company’s core fiscals actually came in roughly in line with what Wall Street was looking for( which is still important ), Netflix’s subscriber numbers are usually the best indicator for the core health of the company. That recurring revenue stream — and its growth — is critical as it continues to very aggressively spend on new content. The company said its free cash flow will be between negative$ 3 billion and negative$ 4 billion, compared to negative$ 2 billion this year.

And that aggressive spend only seems to get more aggressive every time we hear from the company. Netflix is now saying that it expects to expend between $7.5 billion and$ 8 billion on content in 2018 — which is around in line with what it said in October when it said it would spend between$ 7 billion and$ 8 billion. It’s the same range, but tuning up that bottom objective is still an important indicator.

Netflix reveals picked up 20 Emmy awardings last year, but simply having a shiny object on a shelf isn’t something that’s going to indicate that the company is going to continue to grow at a healthy clip. In the face of an increasingly crowded market, Netflix has to demonstrate its ability to continue to offer lasting value for subscribers — especially as it continues to grow abroad. The company, of course, has plenty of benefits in terms of how it handles its presents when it builds them itself.

The company also has to make sure its brand also fits that narrative, as it now finds itself dealing with issues like having to cancel House of Cards — and that has a monetary impact as well. Netflix said it took a $39 million “non-cash charge in Q4 for unreleased content we’ve decided not to move forward with.” The company didn’t specify what content, but it’s dealt with some issues in the past several months that might necessitate the need to recalibrate its slate.

Netflix also tucked another newsy bit into the report: the addition of new board member Rodolphe Belmer, former CEO of Canal +. As the company continues to expand internationally, bringing on people with experience like Belmer of course stimulates sense.

Here’s the final slash line for the company’s report today 😛 TAGEND

Revenue: $3.29 billion, compared to $3.28 billion estimates from Wall street

: $3.29 billion, compared to $3.28 billion estimates from Wall street Earnings: 41 pennies per share, in accordance with estimations from Wall street

: 41 cents per share, in accordance with estimates from Wall Street Q4 US subscriber additions: 1.98 million

: 1.98 million Q4 International subscriber additions: 6.36 million

: 6.36 million Q1 forecast US additions: 1.45 million

: 1.45 million Q1 forecast international additions: 4.90 million

As David Lettermans first Netflix guest, Barack Obama warns against the bubble of social media

David Letterman seems to be taking the title of his new Netflix present very seriously: On the very first episode of My Next Guest Requires No Introduction With David Letterman , he’s joined by former U.S. President Barack Obama.

The episode has plenty of funny moments, like Obama ribbing Letterman about his nearly Biblical beard. But they cover substantive political topics, too — not only during the course of its onstage interview, but also in Letterman’s stroll across Selma’s famous Edmund Pettus Bridge with Congressman John Lewis.

In fact, Letterman seems to be treating the new display as an opportunity to move a little bit away from his usual sardonic style and offer more depth and seriousness. He aimed the interview by telling Obama, “Without a question of a doubt, you are the first chairman I really and truly respect.”

On the tech front, Obama repeated some of the points he made in a recent BBC interview with the U.K.’s Prince Harry. After being asked about threats to our republic, Obama warned against “getting all your information off algorithm being sent through a phone.”

He noted that he owes much of his own political success to social media, which helped him build “what objective up being the best available political campaign, probably in modern political history.” So he initially had “a very optimistic feeling” about the technology, but he said, “I is considered that what we missed was the degree to which people who are in power … special interest, foreign governments, etc ., can in fact manipulate that and propagandize.”

Obama then recounted a science experimentation( “not a big scientific experiment, but only an experiment that somebody did during the revolution that was taking place in Egypt”) where a liberal, a conservative and a “quote-unquote moderate” were asked to search for “Egypt, ” and Google presented each of them with very different results.

“Whatever your biases were, that’s where you were being sent, and that get more strengthened over hour, ” he said. “That’s what’s happening with these Facebook pages where more and more people are getting their news from. At a certain phase you merely live in a bubble, and that’s part of why our politics is so polarized right now.”

Appropriately for a legislator who was so closely associated with hope, Obama also offered some optimism: “I think it is a solvable problem, but I think it’s one that we have to expend a lot of day thinking about.”

It seems that Facebook and the other big platforms are at least trying to address the issue. Yesterday, for example, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network is likely to be prioritizing “meaningful social interactions” over news and publisher content.

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KweliTV is Netflix for black people, by black people, starring black people

Kweli.tv aims to be the go-to streaming media platform for black filmmakers all over the world to share their content and make money from its distribution. KweliTV handpicks all of its content, with 98 percentage of the content having been official selections at movie festivals worldwide.

“There are a lot of really great filmmakers out there globally, ” KweliTV founder DeShuna Spencer told me. “For us, we’re offering an boulevard for filmmakers of colour to make money off of the performance of their duties and be celebrated for the run they do.”

Perhaps, more importantly, KweliTV wants to be a source of authentic storytelling of the black community from the black perspective. A recent survey depicted the mainstream media( news and sentiment media) offers a consistently warped view of black people and black families. For instance, black households represent 59 percentage of the poor in mainstream media even though they make up only 27 percent of low-income people, according to Color of Change. Meanwhile, white families make up just 17 percent of low-income people while they officially represent 66 percentage of the country’s low-income population.

Kweli, which means “truth” in Swahili, aims to tell all sides of the black experience. In order for content to be featured on KweliTV, the the main character needs to be of African descent and “not the sidekick, the friend of the fair godmother, ” KweliTV founder DeShuna Spencer told me. “The black person has to be the main character.”

An example of some KweliTV content is a film called Something Necessary . Generated by Kenyan filmmaker Judy Kibinge, Something Necessary explores life after the civil unrest in Kenya following the 2007 elections through the eyes of a woman named Anne. In 2013, the cinema was nominated for audience option award at the Chicago International Film Festival and screened at the Toronto International Film Festival.

There are currently 200 titles on the platform, with KweliTV adding about three titles a week in the categories of documentary, shorts and full-length features. Subscribers can watch KweliTV on the web or via Roku, Apple TV or Google Play. Unlike Netflix, the goal is not to have an endless library of content. Instead. KweliTV wants to keep it intimate with no more than 500 titles at a time.

KweliTV, which launched out of beta just a few months ago, currently has 2,000 paying subscribers. By the end of the year, the goal is to reached 30,000 paid subscribers. An annual membership expenses $49.99/ year and a monthly one costs $5.99.

As a value-add to the streaming content, KweliTV partners with other black-owned businesses to offer discounts and other perks to its subscribers. Subscribers can access discounts at companies like Heritage Box, Black Card Revoked, African Ancestry and others.

On the creator side, filmmakers get paid based on how many minutes people spend viewing their content. More specifically, 60 percentage of Kweli.TV’s revenue goes to filmmakers, who get paid quarterly.

In alignment with Spencer’s desire to keep it intimate, KweliTV is going to start hosting in-person events for its members to connect with one another. The first event will be next month.

“We really see Kweli as being a community more than a streaming service, ” Spencer said. “Our clients are asking us to be more community-oriented.”

KweliTV is a bootstrapped company in the traditional sense, meaning it hasn’t raised funding from any angel investors or VCs. The company has, however, won $20,000 from a couple of startup competitions.

“It’s a full-time job to raise money, ” Spencer said. “That’s not to say we’ll never create but today, my focus is on revenue.”

One of KweliTV’s competitors, Afrostream, shut down last August, despite creating$ 4 million in capital. Spencer pointed to Afrostream as a little bit of a cautionary narrative of trying to grow too quickly.

Instead of becoming a unicorn, Spencer ensure her company as a zebra. Unlike unicorns, zebras a profitable and work to improve society, and KweliTV is attaining both of those requirements.

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Netflixs Bright reached 11M viewers in its first three days, according to Nielsen

Complex indoor surroundings such asairports and shopping mall can be a nightmare to find your way around. And while Google is eyeing smartphones with 3D sensors as onepotential fix for places GPS wont accurately reach, an alternative approach is to kit up aninterior withlots of Bluetooth beacons giving smartphone users located-lockedpings to fixontoto know where they are.

The UKs second busiest airport, Gatwick, has opted for the latterapproach to poweran indoor navigation systemits launching as part of a wider, multi-year transformation program.

Its nowfinished kitting out its two terminalswith around 2,000 battery-powered beacons so that digital map users will get a more accurate blue dotas they stray around.The beacon system will also be used to power an augmented reality wayfinding tool( pictured above) so that mobileusers will be able to be guided to specific locations within the terminals via on-screen arrows. The beacon system is slated assupporting positioning with +/ -3m accuracy.

Gatwick is planning to integrate indoor positioning into some of its apps, and says its in discussions with airlines to tap into it for their own apps and services giving example of thembeing able to send move notifications towarn passengers if theyrerunning late, or even make a decision on whether or not towait or offload luggage so anaircraft can take off on time.

Retailers and other third party willalso be able to use the systemfor proximity detecting of possibilities shoppers and push marketing messages and offers at least to those who have opted in to receive them.

Gatwick says it will not be collecting any personal data via the beacons but says generic information on people densities in different beacon zones will beused to help improve airport operations such asqueue measuring, streamlining passenger flows and reducing congestion.

The airport hasworked with UK startup Pointron the system. As well as developing software and managing the system on an ongoing basis, Pointris providing anSDK withsupport for 3D AR wayfinding to enable third parties to tap into thefunctionality.

Netflix spent $90 million on the production of Bright , an unlikely hybrid of buddy policeman movie and high fantasy. Will that investment pay off? Well, Nielsen has released some initial viewership numbers, reporting that the cinema reached 11 million U.S. spectators in its first three days.

The firm announced its plans to measure Netflix’s audienceback in October. Since then, it’s said that the first episode of Stranger Things 2 reached 15.8 million people in its first three days, while the second season premiere of The Crown reached virtually 3 million viewers in the same time frame.

Netflix has disputed these numbers, went on to say that Nielsen is merely capturing a fraction of the total, but the streaming service doesn’t release any viewership data of its own.

As for Bright , Nielsen says 7 million viewers were between 18 and 49 years old, while 56 percentage were male and 44 percent female.

The film stars Will Smith as a Los Angeles cop, with Joel Edgerton( under heavy makeup) as his orc-ish partner, and Noomi Rapace as a villainous elf. It reunites Smith with his Suicide Squad director David Ayer, and just like Suicide Squad , it’s gotten scathing reviews — IndieWire’s David Ehrlich described it as “profoundly awful.”( We’re planning to review it on a future episode of the Original Content podcast, but in the meantime, I will say this: Bright is bad, but not quite as bad as Suicide Squad .)

Looks like those reviews didn’t dissuade spectators from checking out the movie, but it remains to be seen whether Bright will continue to draw an audience — and whether that audience will have any interest in watching the already greenlit sequel.

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Netflix users collectively watched 1 billion hours of content per week in 2017

Netflix users burned a lot of time watching content in 2017, though metrics appears to point that users have been watching less and less on average over time.

In a year-end blog post, the streaming service announced that users watched more than 140 million hours of content per day, or 1 billion hours per week. As of Q3 2017, the company has more than 109 million subscribers, a little less than half of which are in the U.S.

While this is undoubtedly an impressive feat for the streaming service, compared to past metrics, it also suggests that users may be watching fewer hours of content on the service compared to years past.

Though there weren’t any similar metrics dedicated for 2016, at the end of 2015, Netflix announced that the 74.7 million users it had at the time had watched 42.5 billion hours of content that year. That indicates about 570 hours per year per account in 2015, though the math is obviously a little rough as sign-ups result throughout the year. Nevertheless, with 109 million users watching 1 billion hours per week in 2017, the average has moved to around 480 hours per account, suggesting that as the company has scaled, its users might not have been logging quite as many hours of screen time.

Competition in the streaming marketplace has obviously picked up in this time as Hulu, HBO Go and Amazon’s Prime video service have invested in original content more heavily and grown libraries. Most of Netflix’s subscriber growth has also taken place in international markets during this time, as well, after they built moves in early 2016 announcing the expansionto 130 new countries.

On a more comical note, in addition to detailing total hours watched, the site laid out some bizarre factoids, highlighting the odd streaming habits of some of its users, including one account that streamed Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl each day for3 65 days in a row and the other that binged the entirety of Shameless while in Antarctica. More sane movie fans were also a plenty on the service — the average user watched 60 movies on Netflix.

Netflix stock is up about 50 percentage year-over-year.

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US regulator scraps net neutrality rules that protect open internet

Decision, which critics warn will hand control of the web to big cable companies, a major victory for FCC chair and Trump appointee Ajit Pai

The US’s top media regulator voted to end regulations protecting an open internet on Thursday, a move critics warn will hand control of the future of the web to cable and telecoms companies.

At a packed session of the Federal Communications Commission( FCC) in Washington, the watchdog’s commissioners voted three to two to dismantle the” net neutrality ” regulations that prevent internet service providers( ISPs) from charging websites more for delivering certain services or blocking others should they, for example, compete with services the cable company also offers.

Q& A

What is net neutrality?

Show Hide

Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers( ISPs) treat everyone’s data equally- whether that’s an email from your mom, a bank transfer or a streamed episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. It means that ISPs don’t get to choose which data is sent more quickly, and which sites get blocked or throttled( for example, slackening the delivery of a Tv show because it is streamed by a video company that competes with a subsidiary of the ISP) and who has to pay extra. For this reason, some have described net neutrality as the ” first amendment of the internet “~ ATAGEND.

Thank you for your feedback.

Outside, protesters angrily called on Congress to block the FCC’s attempts. Posies of flowers and white candles were placed on the grass outside the building, an apparent reference to the “death” of open internet. Posters of the angry-face emoji encompassed the walkway.

And activists carried hand-made signs that read:” Don’t build the internet a private toll road “;” Ajit Pai doesn’t want you to meet your fiance online “; and” Don’t undermine our democracy- that’s Russia’s chore “.

The meeting was briefly interrupted by a security threat.

Free Press (@ freepress)

Hey hey @AjitPaiFCC: “weve been” out here at the biggest rally this building has ever seen and ready to fight for #NetNeutrality pic.twitter.com/ xpzAGzBldE

December 14, 2017

FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, denounced the move.” I dissent because I am among the millions outraged, outraged because the FCC pulls its own teeth, renouncing responsibility to protect the nation’s broadband consumers ,” she said.

Fellow Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said the FCC had shown “contempt” for public opinion during the review. She called the process “corrupt”. ” As a result of today’s misguided actions, our broadband providers will get extraordinary new powers ,” she said.

But FCC chair Ajit Pai and his two fellow Republicans voted for the repeal. Pai said the current rules had impeded innovation and addressed non-existent fears.” We are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for much of its existence .” He called claims that the move would kill the internet “outlandish”.

Net neutrality’s proponents argue that an open internet has been essential to the creation of today’s web, and has allowed companies like Skype to compete with telecoms providers and Netflix to change the media landscape. They say the removal of the rules will affect customers worldwide.

Protesters
Protesters left signs and flowers at the Federal Communications Commission( FCC) headquarters after the vote. Photograph: UPI/ Barcroft Images

Cable companies have attempted to block or slow competing services in the past, and the rules were meant to prevent such cases arising in future. Removing the rules, critics argue, will stifle the online innovations that have been enjoyed by people worldwide and define a dangerous precedent for other countries looking to take firmer control of the internet or to hand oversight to corporations.

Evan Greer, campaign director for internet activists Fight for the Future, said:” Killing net neutrality in the US will impact internet users all over the world. So many of the best ideas will be lost, squashed by the largest corporations at the expense of the global internet-using public .”

Michael Cheah of Vimeo said:” ISPs probably won’t immediately begin blocking content outright, given the hubbub that this would provoke. What’s more likely is a transition to a pay-for-play business model that will ultimately stifle startups and innovation, and lead to higher prices and less option for consumers .”

Passing the scheme is a major victory for Pai, a Donald Trump appointee and former Verizon lawyer who has been a long-term critic of the net neutrality rules brought in under Barack Obama in 2015.

The FCC will require internet providers to disclose how they treat traffic, but regulation of the internet will basically move to the Federal Trade Commission( FTC ), removing barriers to potential abuses and leaving the FTC to assess violations after the fact.

Cable companies have rejected critics’ subjects of concern and said they remain committed to an open internet.

” This is not the end of net neutrality ,” Comcast’s senior executive vice-president wrote in a blogpost . Despite repeated aberrations and biased info, our internet service is not going to change. Comcast clients will continue to enjoy all of the added benefit of an open internet today, tomorrow, and in the future. Period .”

But critics charge that as cable companies become ever bigger investors in media( Comcast owns NBC Universal, and AT& T is trying to buy Time Warner) the incentives to hamper competitor are increasing.

FCC
FCC chairman Ajit Pai on 14 December. Critical senators have said the ruling’ will undermine long-standing protections that that have ensured the open internet ‘. Photograph: UPI/ Barcroft Images

Pai’s proposal still faces heavy opponent. A record 22 million remarks were submitted to the FCC by the general public before the vote- the majority in favor of maintaining the rules.

Millions of remarks submitted in support of Pai’s decision were found to be fake and are now being investigated by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

On Wednesday morning, two US senators, Susan Collins and Angus King, both of Maine, called on the FCC to cancel the vote.” Repealing the FCC’s net neutrality regulations will undermine long-standing protections that that have ensured the open internet as a powerful and transformative platform of innovation and economic opportunity ,” they wrote.

Eighteen attorneys general, dozens of Democratic congressmen and two Republicans had pushed for a delay to the ruling. Critics and activists will now push for Congress to step in and pass a resolution of disapproval utilizing the Congressional Review Act to overrule the FCC’s order.

The FCC is also likely to face a legal challenge to the order, which has been attacked by internet companies including Etsy, Bittorrent, Netflix, Pinterest, Pornhub, Spotify and Wikipedia.

Passing the vote is just the latest in a series of controversial moves made by Pai in his 11 -month tenure. The FCC has also relaxed local media ownership rules, potentially ushering in a wave of consolidation, cut a high-speed internet internet strategy for low-income families and allowed broadband providers to create rates for businesses.

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Shonda Rhimes talks move from network TV to Netflix

When Shonda Rhimes, the creator of network reaches like Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder, announced her new contract with Netflix, it marked yet another win for the digital media world.

TechCrunch recently sat down with Rhimes to hear what we can expect to see from her on Netflix, the importance of diversity and inclusion and media, and more.

“What’s great about Netflix is that everything is kind of instantaneous and it runs around the world instantaneously, ” Rhimes told me. “Everything is released at once. The format can be a little bit what it is you want.”

She went on to discuss the differences between network television and Netflix. For example, she said, “dramas are dictated by being 42 minutes and 19 seconds” and seasons are between 12 to 24 episodes.

“That’s not true with Netflix, ” Rhimes said. “You can make a season that’s six episodes. You can make a season that’s, I guess if you wanted to, 30 seconds — if you lost your mind.”

What’s exciting to Rhimes is the ability to pursue whatever “feels correct with the story you’re say, ” she said. She also noted that she loves the fact she’ll have opportunities to do documentaries.

To hear more from Rhimes, subscribe to CTRL+ T, TechCrunch’s upcoming podcast that explores how tech impacts our culture. Debuting on Saturday, December 16, and hosted by yours truly and TC Editorial Director Henry Pickavet, CTRL+ T explores some of the tech news of the week, and features interviews with influencers and innovators in their respective fields about technology’s impact on our culture. You can check out the trailer now and subscribe on most of the podcast platforms.

Netflix has officially renewed Stranger Things for a third season

What pleasant news to aim the week on. Netflix announced today its plans to renew the hitting Stranger Things for a third season. The announcement came soon after Netflix asked the Twitterverse if the streaming media company should make another season.

The show’s creators, Matt and Ross Duffer, told Vulture back in August that the third season had already been approved. But now Netflix has built it official.

Season two of the indicate garnered an average of 15. 8 million U.S. spectators within the first three days of its availability, according to some data from Nielsen. However, Netflix said Nielsen’s “math might be from the upside down.” Netflix said Nielsen’s numbers only measured a fraction of the actual quantity of viewing that went down on the streaming site.

There’s no word on when we can expect the new season to drop-off, but it will continue to superstar Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven and the rest of the gang.

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Netflix keeps the mystery alive with Black Mirror

Fans are stoked for a fourth season of Black Mirror, as they should be. The Emmy-award winning series, which shows the dark side of our inevitable future, does an outstanding job of story-telling while encapsulating an entire plot line in a single episode at a time.

But Netflix is maintaining its cards close to the vest.

The streaming giant has yet to announce a release date for Season 4, but that hasn’t stopped Netflix from slowly releasing trailers for individual episodes.

Thus far, trailers for two of the six episodes have been released.

The first trailer is for Arkangel , which was directed by Jodie Foster. The tale follows a mother( played by Rosemarie DeWitt) who briefly loses way of her daughter, which understandably devotes her a bit of a frighten. She signs up to be part of the trial for technology called Arkangel, which presumably tracks her daughter. How could this go wrong?

The second trailer is for an episode called Crocodile , which stars Kiran Sonia Sawar, who plays a doctor trying to help person recollect memories of a automobile accident through the use of some sort of computer.

The first trailer was released on Saturday, the 25 th, and the second was released yesterday, November 26 th. This leaves us two options: Netflix is either releasing one per day, which means we’ll get a third trailer in a couple of hours, or it’s releasing one per day on the weekends, which means we’ll be waiting for the third trailer until Saturday.

If I had to guess, I’d expect the release date to be announced following the last trailer. But if Black Mirror has taught us anything, it’s that the future doesn’t always turn out the way you expected.

Update : We now have a trailer for the third episode, Black Museum 😛 TAGEND

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