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Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Defends Dave Chappelle Special in Staff Memo: ‘Artistic Freedom’ Is Different for Stand-Up

near

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Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has addressed staff members on the streamer’s controversial new Dave Chappelle stand-up special, “The Closer.”

The firebrand comedian has drawn criticism from the LGBTQ+ community in recent days over several jokes, specifically around the “thin skin” of trans people and the effects of so-called “cancel culture.”

In a Friday memo sent after Netflix’s quarterly business review, a two-day gathering of the top 500 employees at the company, Sarandos offered guidance on how managers should handle upset employees and angry talent speaking out against Chappelle. It was the same meeting crashed by three junior staffers, one of whom was an out trans person who was critical of Chappelle on Twitter last week. All three were suspended, an an investigation is pending.

“Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him. His last special “Sticks & Stones,” also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest and most award winning stand-up special to date,” Sarandos wrote in the memo, obtained by Variety.

“As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful,” he added.

As examples, Sarandos referenced Netflix content, including “Cuties,” the Sundance sensation meant to comment on the “hypersexualiztion of children,” which in turn was accused of promoting lewd images of minors; the teen suicide drama “13 Reasons Why;” and the unscripted series “My Unorthodox Life” about a fashion executive leaving the Jewish Orthodox faith.

Netflix declined to comment on the matter.

Seeming to address industry rumors that many Netflix employees were incensed by the company’s silence over Chappelle’s remarks about the trans community, Sarandos said, “Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow titles Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe ‘The Closer’ crosses that line.”

In the memo, Sarandos drew a line between expressing artistic freedom and protecting employees in the workplace.

“Particularly in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is obviously a very different standard of speech than we allow internally as the goals are different: entertaining people versus maintaining a respectful, productive workplace,” he said.


Thought this was an interesting read. I'm somewhat surprised that Netflix's co-CEO is so outspoken on such a sensitive subject matter.
 

belmarduk

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Good. Chapelle's Show (His special The Closer, not Chapelle's Show which is also very good.) is third in popularity on Netflix. This is a corporation that has bent over backward to please us in the LGBT community and it's making the bullies over at ResetEra absolutely furious that they cannot cancel the GOAT.
 

daveonezero

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Interesting. If it wasn't for the multi-project deal and the views/money made, I doubt they'd bother standing up for it. Like if some no-name made the exact same jokes.

it is just an uncanceleable person speaking out. As they should.
The only people who ever cave to cancel culture are the ones that can actually be affected by it

Kanye, Chappell, Rogan and a few others are destroying their culture war.
It also shows how corporations don’t really care about these things.

they just see it as an easy way to dodge criticism and grift.
 

Yoboman

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Funny they had no issue when he was mocking black culture and white people for 20 years.

I honestly believe you're never going to legitimise your group identity if you can't joke about it. That's what trans people don't get
 

Yoboman

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Thats basically the summary of his entire point of his special lol
Guess I'll need to watch it

But I think its true. Artistic expression has helped black people a lot and broken down many barriers. Music and movies and comedy help people see the authentic side of life for other groups.

Not to say it solved every issue but I think you'd find racism is way less prevalent with younger people growing up exposed to black people regularly through artistic expression

Essays and Twitter rants dont help
 
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belmarduk

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Netflix employees are mad about this, but not Cuties or any of the other garbage shows they stream. This is why I am off Netflix with no plans to return.

You can join the handful of transgender activists in boycotting Netflix. I'm sure they'll be ok without you.
 

KingGhidorah

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hhmmm....may have to re-subscribe Netflix....I heard they have fresh batch of new exciting shows, plus it's almost The Witcher S2
 

Lognor

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I haven't watched his latest special, but I will. I didn't think the last one was that great but still a fan.

And Netflix defending him makes sense. He makes them a ton of money
 

KingGhidorah

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Netflix employees are mad about this, but not Cuties or any of the other garbage shows they stream. This is why I am off Netflix with no plans to return.

I dumped Netflix because of Cuties, but thinking about coming back for a month for Witcher S2
 

DeepEnigma

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Netflix employees are mad about this, but not Cuties or any of the other garbage shows they stream. This is why I am off Netflix with no plans to return.
That’s “artistic freedom” too. - pedos, actually
 
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Dirk Benedict

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Fetid, rotted, cursed Isz
Now defend paying him millions for that final unfunny turd of a final set.
 

Ionian

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Kanye, Chappell, Rogan and a few others are destroying their culture war.
It also shows how corporations don’t really care about these things.

they just see it as an easy way to dodge criticism and grift.


Busted up laughing at this, every single person you name grift.

Also "are destroying their culture war."

Your words.
 
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daveonezero

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Busted up laughing at this, every single person you name grift.

Also "are destroying their culture war."

Your words.
Of course they are. They are comedians and actual creatives.

ceos and board members are leeches.

there is a difference.

this thread is an example of that. They done really care about other people’s feelings unless it is convenient.
 
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As some of you hinted above, if you cant joke about stuff if makes you look weak. Needing to be babysat because they cry.

The big difference is it's not 8 years olds in school, it's grown adults.

Which doesn't even make sense because in life people always tells kids to not cry and ignore things (grow out of it and dont let others get to you). Yet you got grown ass adults acting like manchildren over stand up comedy.

It's obvious none of them have been to stand up. If any of you are in Vegas, check out the late night acts. You wont see that on network TV. Skip the after dinner shows. They are purposely tame. Do the 11pm or later shows.

And stereotypes stick when a group keeps acting the way they do - in this case getting the limelight complaining. If you don't want to be ridiculed in a real life way, keep on the down low.
 
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Ionian

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I remember going for a piss once at a comedy gig. Dude had a shot at me but I missed it. A guy in the toilet said his comment was brutal and how did I take that?

Just didn't hear him, had too many beers and needed a piss. Went over my head.

Obviously heard about it all afterwards. The situation was funnier than his routine.

Sitting there after a piss and people looking at me weird. I only got up to use the toilet, didn't heckle him. hahahaha, busted up laughing once I found out. Only laugh I got out of his set.

EDIT: sometimes a man needs to piss, especially during a bad set.
 
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Clear

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Of course they are. They are comedians and actual creatives.

ceos and board members are leeches.

there is a difference.

this thread is an example of that. They done really care about other people’s feelings unless it is convenient.

Well, the main difference is that they are all multi-millionaires with huge followings. Meaning that short of being caught doing something criminal, they are basically uncancellable.
 

strange headache

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Why should artistic freedom for comedy be different than any other form of expression? The harshest truths are often found in the funniest jokes.
Also, I think it is about high time we finally realize that disagreement does not equal discrimination.
 

Fbh

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Interesting. If it wasn't for the multi-project deal and the views/money made, I doubt they'd bother standing up for it. Like if some no-name made the exact same jokes.

Yep.
We need to appreciate it while older guys that got famous and formed a following before the woke craze, like Chappelle or Bill Burr, are still around.
Younger comedians going for a similar style and tone are going to have a hard time getting a platform. Had this exact same routine been made by some younger lesser known comedian it would have been removed and Netflix would have apologized by now.
 

DeepBreath87

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Gonna check out his NF show and see for myself how discriminatory it is. Maybe even tonight.
Oh he takes a couple of shots. Not gratuitous ones, but I know what those people are upset about. Of course I also disagree entirely with them. They want to conflate his jokes with people killing themselves. As though trans people are so fragile they can’t handle a few jokes from a comedian they don’t have to watch.

I think the two parts that really got them fired up are “gender is a fact. Everyone on earth had to pass through the legs of a woman to be here tonight.” And “I’m team TERF” in relation to JK Rowling. He just talking from his own perspective, which he makes clear. But the activist community wants to outlaw that kind of perspective from polite society under the guise that trans people will die if people don’t blow smoke up their asses.
 
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Mista K

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I’m surprised Ted said anything, I wouldn’t have. A media company shouldn’t play sides if they want to make money, just give people what they want.
 

Allforce

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I haven't watched this special yet but saw Dave at one of his "summer camp" specials this past summer in the cornfield in Ohio. He did most of the bits people are freaking out over today, which is odd to me because at the time my wife and I both thought "Wow he really took the criticisms to heart and spoke about this stuff in a respectful, adult, and hilarious way".

And I mean there were some RED. NECKS. there that night, way more than I thought would be at 200 bucks a ticket lol. And nobody was acting like an asshole or offended or heckling. Kid Rock also showed up and Dave gave him shit for all the recent stuff he did and then told us all to chill out and have a good time as human beings, so we did.
 
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Chiggs

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Maybe they should put a warning in front of Dave's shows? That seemed to work for Gone With the Wind.
 
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haxan7

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I remember going for a piss once at a comedy gig. Dude had a shot at me but I missed it. A guy in the toilet said his comment was brutal and how did I take that?

Just didn't hear him, had too many beers and needed a piss. Went over my head.

Obviously heard about it all afterwards. The situation was funnier than his routine.

Sitting there after a piss and people looking at me weird. I only got up to use the toilet, didn't heckle him. hahahaha, busted up laughing once I found out. Only laugh I got out of his set.

EDIT: sometimes a man needs to piss, especially during a bad set.
I once sat through half a routine of someone berating me. I didn’t think he was funny at all and didn’t even crack a smile during the whole first half of his set. I added so much to the show the following comedian called me out repeatedly during his set.

tl;dr I’m an awesome audience member
 
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Halo is Dead

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I had no idea there was a Fauci movie out.. or who would watch it but The Closer has a 43% rating from critics and a 97% audience rating. Are there any other movies with such a disparity?
The Last Jedi is like the exact opposite of this lol
 

bitbydeath

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Maybe they should put a warning in front of Dave's shows? That seemed to work for Gone With the Wind.
That was HBO.
Netflix gets a lot of crap for allowing woke shows on their service but they’ve never stooped as low as HBO and Disney.
 

Ionian

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I once sat through half a routine of someone berating me. I didn’t think he was funny at all and didn’t even crack a smile during the whole first half of his set. I added so much to the show the following comedian called me out repeatedly during his set.

tl;dr I’m an awesome audience member

That is amzingly funny, love it. For the following one to have a go at you? Bloody hell.

Comedians can be such babies.

You LAUGH NOW, OK?
 
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