Ted Sarandos bolsters his team's defense in the midst of a fan revolt and potential staff walkout in Netflix'' Dave Chappelle Controversy
The controversy surrounding Netflixs Dave Chappelle special The Closer continues today, with claims that employees raised concerns about the film before it debuted, reports of a planned walkout by and in support of the company s trans employees next week, and hints of company co-CEO Ted Sarandos maintaining that violent or abusive material does not encourage viewers to harm others.
According to Bloomberg, Netflix workers raised suspicions about The Closer in the days before it was released, stating that a series of jokes on gender-neutral pronouns and the genitalia of transgender people was potentially inflammatory and damaging.
Sarandos apparently addressed those and other concerns in a memo sent to employees on Monday. According to Variety, the co-CEO discussed trade-offs and the principles that guide our teams content choices, before focusing on titles that could increase real world harm. Sarandos wrote that we have a strong belief that screen content does not directly cause harm in the real world. He cited the evidence that violence on screens has increased tremendously over the last thirty years, particularly with first party shooter games, yet violent crime has fallen markedly in many countries.
Deadline reached out to Netflix for comment on the alleged memo and the report on staff concerns, but did not respond immediately.
Most of the commenters on the companys Twitter feed, which is dedicated to LGBTQ+ storytelling, werent convinced about the firm underlying motives.
Commenters responded to a string of tweets from the people who manage the account, which included sorry we havent been posting, this week f*cking sucks.
Excuse me, why arent YOU standing up for our community? You understand how sluggish your business is, right? Please tell me you are from this area.
...this year I gave myself the gift of unsubscribing from Netflix, because I wont give my money to companies that fund and platform transphobia (and suspend trans workers for objecting)
Or, in simpler terms:
Delete this vile b#llsh*t you f#ck*ng hypocrites
It appears that some Netflix workers aren't convinced either.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Transgender workers and coworkers plan to organize a walkout next week protesting the streaming giants position on The Closer. They are urging their cohorts not to work for Netflix that day in order to challenge the very foundations of our corporation.