Netflix co-CEO not going to remove Dave Chappelle comedy special amid ongoing criticism
“Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate."
Ted Sarandos, co-CEO at Netflix, has said that the streaming platform is not going to remove Dave Chappelle's recent comedy special amid ongoing criticism.
In a company memo sent Friday, reported by Variety, Sarandos said that Netflix determined that Chappelle’s special The Closer isn’t “designed to incite hate or violence”.
He added that he believes "artistic freedom” is measured by a different standard in the stand-up world, saying that Netflix doesn't allow titles that are "designed to incite hate or violence" and doesn’t believe the special "crosses that line".
“Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate,” Sarandos wrote.
He added that he recognise it can be difficult to "distinguish between commentary and harm" especially with stand-up comedy which "exists to push boundaries."
"Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering," he continued.
He said that a removal of the comedy show is something “we [Netflix] are not going to do."
The special has been criticised by numerous people online, including Netflix employees and Dear White People star Jaclyn Moore since its arrival on the streaming site.
I work at @netflix. Yesterday we launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness - all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You're going to hear a lot of talk about "offense".
We are not offended 🧵
— Terra Field (@RainofTerra) October 7, 2021
During The Closer, Chappelle jokes about being “team TERF" and agreeing with Harry Potter author J.K Rowling that "gender is a fact" as well as defending previous jokes by discussing "cancel culture".