Netflix workers accuse Chappelle of being a transphobe for his comedy special and the CEO defends him

The comedian has premiered a program entitled ‘The Closer’ that has generated a lot of unease among the LGBT community. Among the comments, a mockery about the genitalia of trans women and the defense of JK Rowling.


Netflix has become the focus of controversy and the blame is on Dave Chappelle’s comedy special. On October 5, the streaming platform premiered a 72-minute program by the American comedian entitled The Closer. In it, Chappelle makes comments about the LGBT community, especially trans people. Compare the genitals of a trans woman with a brand of vegan products, defends JK Rowling -who generated a great controversy for certain anti-trans messages- and makes fun of the fact that he can’t joke around with gays.

There have been many voices that have called for the withdrawal of the program, but, as reported TVLine, Ted Sarandos, CEO of Netflix, defends Chappelle’s “artistic freedom” and has no intention of removing him from the catalog. “They can ask us to withdraw the program, but we will not do it. Chappelle is one of today’s hottest comedians and we have a long-term contract with him. His last special, Sticks & Stones, also controversial, is one of the most viewed. As with other talents, we work to protect your creative freedom, although that means there is content on Netflix that some people find harmful, such as 365 days O For thirteen reasons“.

Sarandos’ response has further stirred the controversy and now it is the company’s own workers who have raised their voices. According to maintains Los Angeles Times, Netflix trans employees, as well as other colleagues who support them, have called a protest against the Chappelle special which will take place next week. It is a way of pressuring the company to be aware of the damage of the comedian’s comments, since, according to Sarandos, these have no effects in real life. “Although our employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen does not translate directly to harm in the real world,” the CEO tells Variety.

As we have spoken through Slack, email, messages and everything else, our boss has shown us that he does not defend the values ​​for which he has us “, a worker has published in a public Slack channel,” I encourage all trans and allies not to work for Netflix that day

The objective of the protest is, rather than withdrawing the special, to force managers and the rest of the population to reflect on the limits of humor and that creative freedom that Sarandos points out. “We have been explicitly told that we cannot understand the nuances of certain content. I don’t know about you, but asking us to show the whole story and not just the pieces that harm trans and LGBT people is not an unreasonable request,” continues the message. They don’t expect Chappelle’s withdrawal from the show and instead want more LGBT content on the platform.

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