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Sarandos has been under fire this week after Chappelle’s latest stand-up special for the streamer, The Closer, was criticized as transphobic. The executive said in a staff memo that the special, in which Chappelle mocks gender identities and defends past remarks from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, “doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm” and would not be removed.
He also said that the streamer was “working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story,” adding: “So we have Sex Education, Orange Is the New Black, Control Z, Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself.”
But Gadsby, who shot to fame with her 2018 Netflix special Nanette and also sold her follow-up, Douglas, to the streamer (saying “it’s wonderful that Netflix will bring the show to every corner of the globe”), took to Instagram early Friday to share her outrage.
“Hey Ted Sarandos,” she wrote. “Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess. Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view.”
She added: “You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.”
Trans staffers and allies at Netflix are planning to stage a virtual walkout this coming Wednesday in response to Sarandos’ memos on the Chappelle controversy.
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