Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby has denounced Netflix and its co-CEO Ted Sarandos, accusing her of dragging her name into the controversy over the company’s release of the convicted Dave Chappelle stand-up special The Closer for including jokes about the transgender community.
Describing the streaming service as a “cult of the amoral algorithm,” Gadsby took to social media to condemn Sarandos for bringing up his comedy specials while defending the company’s support for Chappelle.
âJust a quick note to let you know that I would rather you didn’t slip my name into your mess,â she wrote on Instagram in a note to Sarandos.
“Now I have to deal with even more hate and anger that Dave Chapelle fans love to unleash on me every time Dave gets $ 20 million to process his emotionally stunted partial worldview.”
Sarandos had referenced Gadsby alongside Chappelle as an example of increased diversity on the streaming service in a company-wide email sent amid growing backlash against The Closer – including the threat of walkouts in the business.
“We are working hard to ensure that marginalized communities are not defined by one story,” the email from Sarandos read. âSo we have Sex Education, Orange Is The New Black, Control Z, Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle, all on Netflix. The key to this is increasing diversity within the content team itself.
Chappelle’s special drew sustained criticism from the LGBTQ + community for jokes directed at the ‘thin skin’ of trans people and in defense of author JK Rowling, who has previously been accused of transphobia.
In a previous note to managers, Sarandos defended Netflix for working hard to support the “creative freedom” of his talent, citing stand-up comedy as providing a “very different standard of speech” than would be permitted internally.
“It’s hard to distinguish between commentary and evil, especially with the stand-up comedy that exists to push the boundaries,” the memo read. âSome people find the art of stand-up petty, but our members appreciate it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.
âChappelle is one of the most popular comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him. His latest ‘Sticks & Stones’ special, also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest stand-up special. and the most awarded to date.
Gadsby Nanette (2017) and Douglas (2020) comedy specials have both been released via Netflix.
Netflix has fired an employee organizer for allegedly leaking internal documents amid the fury over Chappelle’s special. He also suspended – and then rescinded – a trans worker for tweeting criticism of the Chappelle special.
Jaclyn Moore, executive producer of the Netflix show Dear White People, announced that she will no longer work with Netflix after the Chappelle special, arguing that the company continues to “clearly stream and profit from content. and dangerously transphobic â.