Netflix CEO Defends Dave Chappelle’s Transphobia In Electronic mail
Dave Chappelle’s newest comedy particular, The Nearer, contains some very sad, very harmful anti-trans comments. Confronted with widespread criticism over his firm’s choice to bankroll and air the particular, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos has determined to electronic mail your entire firm twice, and in doing so made issues worse.
When the present was first launched on Netflix, a prominent trans employee and two colleagues were suspended by the company for talking out in opposition to Chappelle publicly, then crashing a senior assembly (and after public backlash have been reinstated solely a day later). On Friday Sarandos despatched out a memo defending Chappelle, saying, “Chappelle is likely one of the hottest stand-up comedians at present, and we’ve got a protracted standing cope with him. His final particular ‘Sticks & Stones,’ additionally controversial, is our most watched, stickiest and most award successful stand-up particular to this point.”
Workers are actually planning a “digital walkout” in protest, and in response to continued tensions, Sarandos has determined to double down and challenge one other memo. First obtained by Variety, it reads (emphasis mine):
We all know that quite a few you’ve been left offended, dissatisfied and damage by our choice to place Dave Chappelle’s newest particular on Netflix. Additionally, we’ve got many new colleagues who wish to higher perceive the rules that information our group’s content material decisions, particularly with difficult titles like this.
Our purpose is to entertain the world, which suggests programming for a variety of tastes. This member-centric view has pushed our progress over the past 20 years, regardless of all of the competitors, and stays Netflix’s north star at present. We additionally assist creative freedom to assist appeal to the very best creators, and push again on authorities and different censorship requests. Our Entertain the World and Technique Bets memos, which we’ve debated extensively, are clear about each rules – together with the commerce offs, i.e. that we’ll all the time have titles some members and staff dislike or imagine are dangerous.
With The Nearer, we perceive that the priority just isn’t about offensive-to-some content material however titles which might enhance actual world hurt (equivalent to additional marginalizing already marginalized teams, hate, violence and so on.) Final yr, we heard related considerations about 365 Days and violence in opposition to girls. Whereas some staff disagree, we’ve got a powerful perception that content material on display doesn’t straight translate to real-world hurt.
The strongest proof to assist that is that violence on screens has grown vastly over the past thirty years, particularly with first get together shooter video games, and but violent crime has fallen considerably in lots of international locations. Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse – or get pleasure from surprising stand-up comedy – with out it inflicting them to hurt others. We’re working onerous to make sure marginalized communities aren’t outlined by a single story. So we’ve got Intercourse Schooling, Orange is the New Black, Management Z, Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to that is rising variety on the content material group itself.
In his particular, Chappelle makes harsh jokes about many alternative teams, which is his type and a motive his followers love his comedy and commentary. Stand-up comedians typically expose points which can be uncomfortable as a result of the artwork by nature is a extremely provocative. As a management group, we don’t imagine that The Nearer is meant to incite hatred or violence in opposition to anybody (per our Delicate Content material pointers).
We’ve had these working rules round pleasing our members and creative expression for a few years, and the group’s choice to place The Nearer on our service was in line with them. The range and high quality of our content material is what members worth most. Our hope is which you can be vastly impressed by entertaining the world, whereas additionally residing with titles you strongly imagine don’t have any place on Netflix. This is not going to be the final title that causes a few of you to marvel in case you can nonetheless love Netflix. I sincerely hope which you can.
What absolutely the fuck. One of many world’s hottest comedians standing on stage and saying proudly that he’s “group TERF” (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) is doing an unimaginable quantity of hurt. It’s doing actually nothing else however de-legitimising and straight attacking a whole group of marginalised human beings. To attempt to shrug that off through the use of anecdotal, unscientific and unrelated factors about video video games, or to solely use precise bodily assaults as his chief metric for “hurt,” is a staggering factor to learn.
Good luck to every single one of the 1000 employees collaborating within the “digital walkout” subsequent week.