FX’s John Landgraf Calls Google, Amazon Monopolies ‘A Terrible Thing for Our Society’

Network chief argues Silicon Valley’s “winner-take-all” business models harm creativity

John Landgraf
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FX chief John Landgraf took aim at Silicon Valley’s business model, calling it a “terrible thing for our society.”

Speaking at the PGA’s Produced By conference on Saturday, the network exec criticized the business models of companies Google and Amazon, calling them monopolies and predicting that their strategy of “crushing the competition” could be damaging for the future of society.

“I don’t like this winner-take-all model,” Landgraf said. “I think that’s a terrible model for the future of creative, and I think that’s therefore a terrible thing for our society.”

Landgraf’s comments came during a panel with “Fargo’s” Noah Hawley, in which Landgraf discussed the network’s unique strategy of shaping its business around its creators and storytellers. He explained that it’s his job to “delegate responsibility” to writers and producers, while figuring out a plan to monetize their work without letting that dictate the creative direction.

“We would’ve easily discontinued ‘Fargo’ if Noah had come back and said ‘I don’t have any other ideas,’” Landgraf told the crowd. He said that with viewers moving away from linear viewing, the only way to ensure people find their shows is to “make something of classic and enduring value.”

“We’re in a trend where we’re making things that have to endure,” Landgraf added.

Hawley backed up Landgraf’s statements, agreeing that he’s had enormous creative freedom to make the shows he’s wanted to make at the network, including reducing the number of episodes on his upcoming “X-Men” series “Legion” from 10 to eight and allowing him to decide when “Fargo” should end.

“Normally a corporation doesn’t do a mic drop after a big success,” Hawley joked.