Dave Chappelle caused controversy when his comments were perceived as offensive and derogatory towards transgender people. The Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos sent an internal email that said that the special will not be canceled.
Dozens of Netflix employees walked out in protest, against the streaming giant’s decision to release comedian Dave Chappelle’s new special, The Closer. The protestors said that Chapelle’s standup ridicules transgender people. Several people who were not Netflix employees also joined the rally in support of the walkout called the Stand-Up in Solidarity. Additionally, some Netflix employees who were working remotely shut their laptops and called off work for the day at noon, NYT reported. The protestors carried signs that read“Hey Netflix: Do Better” and “Transphobia Is Not a Joke.”
Dave Chappelle special has polarised Netflix from the inside, while some in the top seem to be comfortable with the show’s content the others are considerably Chapelle, in the special, reportedly aligns himself as Team TERF which stands for Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist. Chappelle also addressed critiques he has received from the LGBTQ community in the special. “What comedians say in a comedy show does matter and it does have real-world consequences.
The company CEO, Ted Sarandos, on October 8th, sent an internal email saying the company would not be taking down the special. He also said that he did not believe that Chappelle’s stand-up crossed a line, which further inflamed the situation. However, Sarandos later told Variety in an interview that he screwed up when it came to how he has handled criticism of the special.
That being said the controversy seems to have received support from many celebrities as well, as it seems right now it’s not about the show anymore it’s more about the interpretation and the ridicule of the subject that is taken into account. Earlier this month, Netflix had suspended and later reinstated a Trans employee for tweeting about Chapelle’s special. Terra Field, a software engineer tweeted about Chappelle, writing that the comedian attacks the trans community and the validity of transness in the special. Shortly after the tweet thread went viral, Netflix suspended Field along with two other employees for trying to attend a director-level meeting they weren’t invited to.
It seems that there are some issues that need clarification but the conjecture has definitely crossed the level of gender bias and into the world of neoconservatism. In this debate between liberals vs conservatives, the one thing is certain insensitivity must cease in the name of gender.