(Credit: Daniel Benavides)

Netflix News

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos weighs in on Dave Chappelle transphobia debate

The controversy over Netflix’s new Dave Chappelle show, The Closer, continues. Not only are allegations in orbit that employees had raised concerns about the show before it aired, but it is also reported that next week the trans employees and their allies at the streaming giant are planning a walkout to protest the show. 

Co-CEO of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, has not covered himself in any glory. A leaked private memo sent to senior employees by Sarandos maintained that violent or abusive comment does not spur viewers to harm others. 

Per a report in Bloomberg, Netflix staff raised flags about The Closer in the run-up to its release, stating: “That a series of jokes about gender-neutral pronouns and the genitalia of transgender people was potentially inflammatory and damaging.”

The concerns were seemingly addressed by Sarandos in the memo that was leaked. According to Variety, he discussed “trade-offs” and “the principles that guide our team’s content choices,” before focusing on “titles which could increase real-world harm”. 

Sarandos wrote: “We have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” He cited ‘data’ showing 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.”

The company’s Twitter feed, ‘Most’, which is dedicated to LGBTQ+ storytelling, told audiences that they’re not convinced about the company’s motives. They Tweeted: “sorry we haven’t been posting, this week f*cking sucks”. 

The walkout is planned for next Wednesday. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, the planners are urging participants “not to work for Netflix that day” in order to “challenge the very principles of our company.”

This is a developing story.