Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos said in a memo to staff that Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” will not be removed from the site following a backlash over his LGBTQ comments, Deadline reported Monday.
“You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do,” the co-CEO shared in a memo to staff obtained by Deadline magazine. (RELATED: ‘Gender Is A Fact’: They’re Not Going To Be Happy With Dave Chappelle’s Latest Bit On Trans Culture)
“Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him,” the memo reportedly added. “His last special, Sticks & Stones, also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest, and most award winning stand-up special to date. As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom – even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful, like Cuties, 365 Days, 13 Reasons Why, or My Unorthodox Life.”
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defends Dave Chappelle saying “we work hard to support talent’s creative freedom — even though this means there will be content on Netflix some believe is harmful,” referencing ‘Cuties’ & ‘13 Reasons Why’ as examples.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) October 11, 2021
“Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate,” Sarandos’ memo continued, according to Deadline. “We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line. I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.” (RELATED: ‘No One Can Be Woke Enough’: Dave Chappelle And Joe Rogan Rip ‘Woke Ideology,’ Defend Elon Musk)
The piece also noted that a trans Netflix engineer, Terra Fied, was reportedly suspended following the person’s comments on social media slamming the stand-up comedian for allegedly attacking “the trans community” in his latest special.
The streaming site issued a statement to the outlet that said “it is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show.”
The legendary comedian’s special does deal with LGBTQ issues and attacks he’s received from the LGBTQ community calling him “transphobic” and more.
“I am not telling another joke about you until we are both sure that we are laughing together,” Chappelle shared ear the end of The Closer in a personal address to the trans and LBGTQ+ communities after revealing a personal story about him and a trans comedian he called a friend. “All I ask from your community – with all humility – will you please stop punching down on my people?”