Ted Sarandos, the co-CEO of Netflix, is doubling down on his decision to not remove Dave Chappelle’s new controversial comedy special The Closer.
After addressing the company last week, Sarandos sent another email to his staff, addressing the outrage that members of the trans community have expressed since the special aired. “We know that a number of you have been left angry, disappointed and hurt by our decision to put Dave Chappelle’s latest special on Netflix,” he wrote in an email, which was obtained by Variety.
However, the co-CEO is sticking by the company’s decision to keep the special on the platform.
“With The Closer, we understand that the concern is not about offensive-to-some content but titles which could increase real world harm (such as further marginalizing already marginalized groups, hate, violence etc.) Last year, we heard similar concerns about 365 Days and violence against women. While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm,” he said.
Sarandos also stated that Chappelle’s content will not increase violence against those in the LGBTQ community. “The strongest evidence to support this is that violence on screens has grown hugely over the last thirty years, especially with first party shooter games, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly in many countries,” he added. “Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy — without it causing them to harm others.”
As REVOLT previously reported, several members of the Netflix employee resource group Trans* and their supporters will take a “day of rest” in protest of Chappelle’s comments on The Closer. The comedian’s jokes have been criticized as being anti-trans and GLAAD and other groups have called for it to be drawn from Netflix.
Trans* believes the leadership at the streaming company “has shown us that they do not uphold the values for which we are held.”
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