Use of Heartbreak High as a Political Weapon

Two seemingly unrelated, yet highly significant, events took place on 27 November 2020, which will likely shape the future of Australian TV and culture for years to come.

Content quota one of the major issues

That day, the former coalition government issued a discussion paper debating what kind of regulation broadcasters and international streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and Disney+ should be subject to. One of the major issues was content quotas. Should the streaming giant forced to at least produce Australian content, or set aside a portion of their revenue to invest in local productions? It is a proposal that has faced stiff resistance from streamers, but backed by many in the local industry to create jobs and ensure Australian stories told on screen.

Netflix launches Australian teen classic Heartbreak

The day the government’s discussion paper released, Netflix took the entire original series of Australian teen classic Heartbreak High on its platform. The show warmly received by viewers, and reportedly made the list of the 25 most popular local titles on Netflix.

substantial spending on Australian content

Two weeks later, no doubt buoyed by the love showered on the original, Streamer announced that it was reimagining the show with a new creative team and cast in one of the biggest local productions ever. is starting. The announcement raised eyebrows as it landed in the midst of a heated debate over whether companies like Netflix were spending enough on Australian content.

Heartbreak High released

Cynics argued that the high-profile reboot an attempt to convince policymakers that Netflix values ​​Australian stories and local productions, and does not need to regulated. Fast-forward to this month and to Heartbreak High. released, which has received both critical acclaim and an overwhelming audience response – making it to Netflix’s list of Top 10 Shows Around the World in its first week. But the eccentrics have also been proved right.

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