So, how to unwrap this one? Well, let's start at the beginning: Comedy. A tool meant to comment on society under the protection of "I was just kidding". Some even say that comedians are the measuring stick for our culture, and, if comedians can't exaggerate for the sake of what they're meant to do, then we, as a society, have lost our appetite for truth.
Well... that's one way to put it at least, and make of that what you will when considering this Netflix employee's appetite for truth:
I work at @netflix. Yesterday we launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness - all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You're going to hear a lot of talk about "offense".— Terra Field (@RainofTerra) October 7, 2021
We are not offended
Was this tweet the reason Terra Field was suspended? Apparently not, but the suspension sure came at a convenient immediately afterwards. Still, Netflix claims that Terra was suspended for joining a meeting that Terra was not invited for, saying: “Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly and we support their right to do so."
- Oh, this is not the only controversy Netflix has going on: Netflix Sued: Squid Game Has to Remove Controversial Scenes
So, what's the outrage, anyway? Well, in his special, The Closer, Chappelle said that "Gender is a fact", and then went on to compare transgender women to Beyond Meat. I don't wanna spoil the comedy or horror (depending on where you stand), so you should watch the special for yourself.
After the special, Terra was not the only Netflix employee to be outraged, and it's been said that Netflix big boss Sarandos issued an internal memo on how to deal with angered employees, while publically standing by the Dave Chappelle statement with the following statement:
Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line. I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.
He then goes on to list many of other Netflix shows and specials that tackle various issues of sexuality, mental health, discrimination or dark tendencies of humanity – all of which are controversial, yet all of which, he believes, have a place on the platform.
So... despite the backlash, Netflix doesn't seem to want to make amends with those offended, one of which is Jaclyn Moore, who is the white executive producer on Netflix's very own 'Dear White People' – a show about black people. Not that I'm trying to say something here, because, for once, I have no interest to chime in on this conversation, except that I will say this: People are aware that 60% of our movies, TV shows, and video games are about killing people, right? Just wondering when it was that killing people became more acceptable than controversial comedy. Just... food for thought.
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