Dave Chappelle's 'The Closer' Stays: Netflix CEO Sides With Stand-Up Despite Acknowledging 'Harmful' Content
The Chappelle saga is far from done. While disappointed viewers want the whole thing removed from the giant streaming site and the comedian cancelled, or sanctioned, none of that is going to happen. The CEO of Netflix says so himself.
in an internal message, Netflix co-CEO and CCO Ted Sarandos stated that Netflix will not remove controversial new stand-up special "The Closer" by comedian Dave Chappelle off its streaming service, Variety reported.
Even if the show's inflammatory statements on transgender individuals shocked many, the management refuses to cut ties with the comedian.
"Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him. His last special 'Sticks & Stones,' also controversial, is our most-watched, stickiest and most award-winning stand-up special to date," Sarandos wrote.
"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," the CEO continued.
The CEO simply believes that the controversial act did not really "cross a line." Otherwise, they would have themselves not allowed it to stream.
He explained, "Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. 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."
He added that the criteria should be different for comedies, where artistic freedom is crucial.
"Particularly in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is obviously a very different standard of speech than we allow internally as the goals are different: entertaining people versus maintaining a respectful, productive workplace," he added.
What he said did not sit well for many though, especially those belonging to the community as well as the allies.
"Queer Eye" star Jonathan Van Ness in particular, whose show also streams on Netflix - said something sharp about this memo.
The memo's emergence happened on the same day that someone in Netflix suffered instead of being lauded for pointing out what was wrong with the show.
It can be remembered that Terra Field tweets that the show "attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness." She was allegedly suspended as a result
According to the Verge, Field was reportedly suspended "for trying to attend a meeting she wasn't invited to." The site also claimed that another trans employee quit the company for "how the special - and Field's comments - were handled."