Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed staff members on Streimer’s controversial new Dave Chapel stand-up special, “The Closure.”
The firebrand comedian has been criticized in recent days with a number of jokes from the LGBTQ + community, especially around the effects of trans people’s “thin skin” and so-called “discarded culture”.
In a Friday memo sent after Netflix’s quarterly business review, at a two-day gathering of the company’s top 500 employees, Sarandos instructed managers on how to handle annoyed employees and how to handle angry talents to speak out against Chappell.
“Chappell is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today and we have a long-term contract with him. His last special” Sticks and Stones “, also controversial, is our most visited, stickiest and most award-winning stand-up special,” Sarandos wrote in the memo. Obtained by Diversity.
“Like our other talents, we work hard to support their creative freedom – although that means Netflix will always have content that some people believe is harmful,” he added.
Sarandos, for example, cites Netflix content, including “cuties,” as a sensation of “sensational hyperaxualization of children,” which has been accused of promoting pornography to minors; Teenage Suicide Drama “13 Reasons Why;” And the series “My Vain Life” is a copy about a fashion executive abandoning the Jewish Orthodox faith.
Netflix declined to comment on the matter.
“Many of you have asked where we draw the line of hatred,” Sarandos said as he watched the industry deal with rumors that many Netflix employees were outraged by the company’s silence on Chappell’s comments about the trans community. We do not allow Netflix titles designed to incite hatred or violence, and we do not believe that ‘closure’ has exceeded that limit.
In the memoir, Sarandos draws a line between expressing artistic freedom and protecting workers in the workplace.
“Especially in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is clearly a different standard of speech that we allow internally because the goals are different: to entertain people while maintaining a respectable, productive workplace,” he said.
Read the full memo from Sarandos below:
I wanted to do a recent special follow-up of “Close” ডেDave Chappell-since many of you have followed QBR by asking Tubby what you have to say. It never feels good when people, especially our colleagues, get in trouble, so I wanted to give you some extra context. You should be more aware that some talent will join a third party and ask us to remove the show the next day, which is not what we are going to do.
Chappell is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-term contract with him. His last special “Sticks and Stones”, also controversial, has been seen by most of us. Like our other talents, we work hard to support their creative freedom – although this means that Netflix will always have content that some people believe is harmful, such as “Qtis,” “365 Days,” “13 Reasons Why” or “My Unusual Life.” . “”
Many of you have asked where we are drawing the line of hatred. We do not allow Netflix headlines designed to incite hatred or violence and we do not believe that closure has crossed that line. However, I admit that it is difficult to distinguish between commentary and loss, especially the stand-up comedy that exists to raise boundaries. Some people find the stand-up industry exciting but our members enjoy it and it’s an important part of our content.
In light of our commitment to inclusion, we are working hard to ensure that more people are reflected in their lives on screen and that less-represented communities are not defined by a single story. So we’re proud of titles like “Sex Education,” “Young Royals,” “Control Z,” and “Disclosure.” Externally, especially in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is clearly a different standard of speech that we allow internally because the goals are different: to entertain people versus to maintain a respectable, productive workplace.
Today’s conversation was timely in the world of entertainment. These are difficult and uncomfortable problems. We all come up with different values and perspectives so thank you for being part of the conversation because it’s important that we are clear about our operating principals.