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Netflix confirms it is parting ways with female programming head

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Netflix on Tuesday confirmed reports that it is parting ways with the head of programming at its female-focused streaming service, Channing Dungey.

Over the past year, Netflix has in general come under increasing fire for its inconsistent gender roles and shifting standards of what constitutes female-driven content. (This year, Netflix has offered limited quantities of new female-led shows, after offering new series such as “The Crown” a year earlier.) On Monday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that “some of our shows really get within the barrier of what are shows about? It’s like a renaissance.”

Though Netflix has in general reaped plenty of acclaim for shows like “House of Cards” and “Stranger Things,” Dungey’s contract apparently wasn’t up until 2020, according to those close to the situation. The executives, including Dungey, had only recently haggled over a new contract that was likely to be for a more lucrative contract. An insider described the friction as “churning.”

The two sides reportedly haven’t talked since Oct. 4, according to the Wall Street Journal. The news of the rift was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Netflix declined to comment. Dungey did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dungey joined Netflix in early 2017 and replaced Ted Sarandos, who had been with the company for several years. A former executive at ABC Entertainment and TBS, she oversaw shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Empire” and “Scandal.” Dungey was the first woman to head the programming unit of a TV network in the U.S.

Dungey may be joining other experienced TV executives leaving Netflix to jump to traditional cable networks. Jay Sures, who had overseen Netflix’s key acquisitions division, also decided to leave the company, and he’s set to join CBS next week. That leaves chief content officer Ted Sarandos — who has increasingly assumed more of the power at Netflix — as the only executive running the former.

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