The controversy about Netflix‘s Dave Chappelle special The closer continued today with allegations that workers had raised concerns about the document before it debuted, reports of a planned strike next week by and in support of the company’s trans employees, and a leaked memo from the company’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos maintain that violent or abusive content does not encourage viewers to harm others.
AN report of Bloomberg said Netflix employees were putting up flags over The closer in the days before it was released, notably “that a series of jokes about gender-neutral pronouns and the genitals of transgender people was potentially inflammatory and harmful.”
Sarandos apparently addressed these and other concerns in a memo sent to employees on Monday. According to Variety, the co-CEO, wrote about “compromises” and “the principles that guide our team’s content choices,” before focusing on “titles that could amplify real-world damage.” Sarandos wrote that “we strongly believe that content on the screen does not directly cause damage in the real world.” As evidence, he cited data showing that “screen violence has increased dramatically over the past thirty years, especially with first party shooter games, and yet violent crime has dropped significantly in many countries.”
Deadline contacted Netflix for comment on both the alleged memo and the staff concerns report, but did not immediately hear back.
On the company’s Twitter feed dedicated to telling LGBTQ+ stories, Most, commentators were not convinced of the company’s motives.
Responding to a series of tweets from the people who maintain the account – including “sorry we haven’t posted, f*cking sucks this week” – the commenters said:
“Excuse me, why isn’t _YOU_ standing up for “our” community? You know how crappy your company is, right? Please tell me you recognize it”
“…this year I gave myself the gift of unsubscribing from Netflix because I will not give my money to companies that fund transphobia and platforms (and suspend trans employees for objection)”
Or more directly:
“Delete this hypocritical b#llsh*t you f#ck*ng hypocrites”
sorry we haven’t posted, this week sucks (🧵)
— Most (@Most) October 13, 2021
It seems some Netflix employees aren’t convinced either.
Transgender staffers and their colleagues plan to stage a strike next week to protest the streaming giant’s stance on The closer, according to the Los Angeles Times. They urge cohorts to “don’t work for Netflix that day” to “challenge the principles of our company.”