It appears that Netflix will not cancel comedian Dave Chappelle's special "The Closer" over criticism of his jokes about transgender and gays.
According to Breitbart on Monday, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the comedian in an internal memo.
"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," he wrote in the memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
During the show, Chappelle defended only two genders by making the point that everyone born has passed through a woman’s body.
"Gender is a fact, this is a fact," the comedian said during the show. "Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth, this, is, a, fact."
The comments drew the ire of the trans community, including someone claiming to be an employee at Netflix.
In a post on Twitter, the employee, who identifies themselves as "Terra Field," said the membership network allowed Chappelle to attack "the trans community, and the very validity of transness."
"What we object to is the harm that content like this does to the trans community," the staffer tweeted in a lengthy thread. "Promoting TERF ideology (which is what we did by giving it a platform yesterday) directly harms trans people, it is not some neutral act. This is not an argument with two sides. It is an argument with trans people who want to be alive and people who don’t want us to be."
While an anonymous source told The Hollywood Reporter that the trans staffer was fired from the network, the company denied it in a statement.
"It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show," a spokesperson said in a statement to multiple outlets. "Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly, and we support their right to do so."
According to the Breitbart article, Chappelle is taking the controversy in his comic stride, telling his audience at the Hollywood Bowl last week that if this is being "canceled," "I love it."
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