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Ted Sarandos: Dave Chappelle 'Content Doesn’t Directly Translate to Real-World Harm'



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 2 months ago '07        #1
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Ted Sarandos: Dave Chappelle 'Content Doesn’t Directly Translate to Real-World Harm'
 

 

Ted Sarandos Doubles Down on Dave Chappelle Defense: ‘Content Doesn’t Directly Translate to Real-World Harm’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos sent a lengthy missive to the entire company following the mounting controversy around a new original special from comic Dave Chappelle.

After addressing top leadership in a Friday memo, Sarandos sent an email on Monday to all staff — some of whom have increasingly expressed outrage over jokes about the trans community in Chappelle’s “The Closer,” and have scheduled a walkout protest as a response.

“We know that a number of you have been left angry, disappointed and hurt by our decision to put Dave Chappelle’s latest special on Netflix,” Sarandos wrote in an email obtained by Variety.

“With ‘The Closer,’ we understand that the concern is not about offensive-to-some content but titles which could increase real world harm (such as further marginalizing already marginalized groups, hate, violence etc.) Last year, we heard similar concerns about 365 Days and violence against women. While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm,” he said.

“The strongest evidence to support this is that violence on screens has grown hugely over the last thirty years, especially with first party shooter games, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly in many countries. Adults can watch violence, a*sault and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it causing them to harm others,” he continued.

When contacted by Variety for comment, queer media watchdog GLAAD said it was “founded 36 years ago because media representation has consequences for LGBTQ people. Authentic media stories about LGBTQ lives have been cited as directly responsible for increasing public support for issues like marriage equality. But film and TV have also been filled with stereotypes and misinformation about us for decades, leading to real world harm, especially for trans people and LGBTQ people of color. Ironically, the documentary ‘Disclosure’ on Netflix demonstrates this quite clearly.”

That Sarandos would wade into a debate about the potential harmful effects of content is notable, given that those who condemn Chappelle’s jokes have specifically cited the physical danger that anti-trans ideology poses to that community.

“What we object to is the harm that content like this does to the trans community (especially trans people of color) and VERY specifically Black trans women. People who look like me aren’t being k*lled. I’m a white woman,” wrote out trans Netflix employee Terra Field in a now-viral Twitter thread last week.

“Make no mistake, Chappelle’s alleged jokes do not impact hypothetical people; they, in fact, cause real harm to transgender and nonbinary viewers and Black LGBTQ youth who may have once looked up to him as a role model,” wrote queer author and attorney Preston Mitchum on Wednesday.

Studies, including research from 2016 conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological a*sociation, back up Sarandos’ a*sertion specifically around the effects of screen violence — but the trans community has long been desperate to educate the masses over the shocking fatality rate it faces. In 2020, the Human Rights Campaign recorded a record number of violent deaths suffered by trans and gender nonconforming people, the highest rate since the group began tracking these k*llings in 2013.

Dialogues about on-screen violence translating to real-world harm have been going on for decades. Last week, videos of fist f*ghts outside a pop-up store devoted to the brutal, record-breaking Netflix series “Squid Game” went viral. In July, a Wisconsin judge released Anissa Weier, the young woman convicted of stabbing her classmate to death as a tribute to the digital folklore character Slender Man, the subject of a 2018 feature film.

In his Monday note, Sarandos went on to say that Netflix is “working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story,” and said key to that effort is “increasing diversity on the content team itself.” He also referenced titles like “s*x Education,” “Orange is the New Black,” “Control Z,” and the stand-up of Hannah Gadsby as companions to Chappelle’s special on the service.

“Our hope is that you can be hugely inspired by entertaining the world, while also living with titles you strongly believe have no place on Netflix. This will not be the last title that causes some of you to wonder if you can still love Netflix. I sincerely hope that you can,” he concluded.

Read the full memo:

We know that a number of you have been left angry, disappointed and hurt by our decision to put Dave Chappelle’s latest special on Netflix. Also, we have many new colleagues who want to better understand the principles that guide our team’s content choices, especially with challenging titles like this.

Our goal is to entertain the world, which means programming for a diversity of tastes. This member-centric view has driven our growth over the last 20 years, despite all the competition, and remains Netflix’s north star today. We also support artistic freedom to help attract the best creators, and push back on government and other censorship requests. Our Entertain the World and Strategy Bets memos, which we’ve debated extensively, are clear about both principles – including the trade offs, i.e. that we’ll always have titles some members and employees dislike or believe are harmful.

With The Closer, we understand that the concern is not about offensive-to-some content but titles which could increase real world harm (such as further marginalizing already marginalized groups, hate, violence etc.) Last year, we heard similar concerns about 365 Days and violence against women. While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.

The strongest evidence to support this is that violence on screens has grown hugely over the last thirty years, especially with first party shooter games, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly in many countries. Adults can watch violence, a*sault and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it causing them to harm others. We are working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story. So we have s*x Education, Orange is the New Black, Control Z, Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself.

In his special, Chappelle makes harsh jokes about many different groups, which is his style and a reason his fans love his comedy and commentary. Stand-up comedians often expose issues that are uncomfortable because the art by nature is a highly provocative. As a leadership team, we do not believe that The Closer is intended to incite hatred or violence against anyone (per our Sensitive Content guidelines).

We’ve had these operating principles around pleasing our members and artistic expression for many years, and the team’s decision to put The Closer on our service was consistent with them. The variety and quality of our content is what members value most. Our hope is that you can be hugely inspired by entertaining the world, while also living with titles you strongly believe have no place on Netflix. This will not be the last title that causes some of you to wonder if you can still love Netflix. I sincerely hope that you can.

-Ted
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67 comments
 

 2 months ago '14        #2
El Caballero  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Their argument has essentially been that Chappelle special needs to be pulled because it will cause people to just go out and start k*lling trans people
And will make lgtbq people commit suicide

It's ridiculous
+54   

 2 months ago '05        #3
Micheal C. Will  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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People who end up resulting in doing something that translates to real world harm, were already leaning towards that way before whatever they watch and listen too in the media.

I find it out hard to believe that a Dave Chappelle comedy special would be the tipping point for that individual.
+40   

 2 months ago '08        #4
stlcardinals19 
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"Content doesn't have real-world effects," huh? Gonna be interested to see what Boxden believes on this statement
+8   

 2 months ago '05        #5
Fauby  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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Or you can listen to what Dave actually said.

These people are just blindly following the head lines and ignoring the actual meaning behind this whole stand up.

Dave called this on his 3rd or 4th stand up on Netflix.....smfh
+26   

 2 months ago '10        #6
kingjab7542 
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Salute to this guy. Speak up and stand up for all forms of art.
+9   

 2 months ago '08        #7
kuffysmacker 
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Lol. If Netflix takes it down .... black people ... nvm

 2 months ago '20        #8
confidential1  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x4
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SPACE JEWS!!
+33   

 2 months ago '05        #9
olx9o 
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Respect, someone with power who finally not allowing the dumb rhetoric to claim another victim.
+19   

 2 months ago '17        #10
Coffee  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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"That slope slippery."

- Ted Sarandos.
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 2 months ago '05        #11
carden2 
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 olx9o said
Respect, someone with power who finally not allowing the dumb rhetoric to claim another victim.
It's crazy how common sense largely is so void in today's society. He said exactly what a bunch of folks already thinking and he did it from a position in power so it's like holy sh*t. Probably a first and it really shouldn't be at all.
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 2 months ago '18        #12
set117  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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And still nobody has said anything about the 4000 racial attacks per year against black people( yet there is an anti Asian hate bill) and the still ongoing police k*llings. Which was Dave's whole point. The more they tall the more it shows they don't care. Damn Dave is genius.
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 2 months ago '15        #13
Hellmatic 
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Thats right trannies deal with it. Tranny jokes ain't hurting nobody


Last edited by Hellmatic; 10-15-2021 at 11:01 AM..
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 2 months ago '21        #14
Losantana16x4  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x3
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Someone has to be brave
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 2 months ago '17        #15
CJ Schwarz  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x8
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Netflix saw all them comments from Black Americans about dropping their Netflix subscription if they pull the special and Netflix were like we riding with Dave. Black social media made the term Netflix and Chill a movement, and Netflix isn't going to burn that bridge.
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 2 months ago '15        #16
The Knuckle God 
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It seems that now people are trying to blame violence on content. They tried to say the same thing about Kevin Samuels, and violence against women. Heinous acts have been around before any of this material, so it's not fair to use it as a scapegoat. I actually saw a video of a girl talking about how exaggerated the Chappelle claims are, and how violence towards the LGBT is lower than usual. Not once did Dave encourage any harm in his special, and if that's what people got from it, then they're the problem
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 2 months ago '17        #17
Its 
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 set117 said
And still nobody has said anything about the 4000 racial attacks per year against black people( yet there is an anti Asian hate bill) and the still ongoing police k*llings. Which was Dave's whole point. The more they tall the more it shows they don't care. Damn Dave is genius.
This.
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 2 months ago '20        #18
D1dnt read  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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the dumbasses complaining wanna pull this stand up routine but have no problem with shows like squid game where people are brutally murdered as a game




hope we get another netflix special from dave
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 2 months ago '04        #19
7twelve 
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 kingjab7542 said
Salute to this guy. Speak up and stand up for all forms of art.
netlfix shouldnt even acknowledge the mad people. not like they gonna cancel their subscriptions. they just want to whine
+4   

 2 months ago '16        #20
fam 
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 stlcardinals19 said
"Content doesn't have real-world effects," huh? Gonna be interested to see what Boxden believes on this statement
netflix is turning their sons gay i thought
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 2 months ago '15        #21
DamianDragunov 
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I hope the hell they don’t eventually fold, and I hope the fire the employees who walk out or protest…








Edit:


They did lol…









Last edited by DamianDragunov; 10-15-2021 at 07:31 PM..
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 2 months ago '06        #22
Skateboard T  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x6
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Even as one of the biggest bleeding heart libs on this website, the sh*t Dave said doesn't warrant cancellation.

The entire bit was #1 a joke on transphobic people, the insensitive sh*t he said was tongue-in-cheek to the point that he was making fun of people who say that sort of thing, esentially acing like the bigots he was making fun of; #2 in the context of the entire bit, he talks about the need to support the LGBTQ community, but exposes that problems with intersectionalism which, is a great point and a persistent problem within that movement.


The problem is that bigots are acting like Dave is saying fu*k the LGBTQ community which he isn't. He's saying "black people are still getting fu*ked by this country and need your help, the LGBTQ community is in a good spot right now so maybe yall can focus some of that energy over here now."

The good thing is that most people understand these things, and that's why there isn't a large movement to cancel him. It's just a handful of twitter accounts that have taken sh*t out of context.
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 2 months ago '05        #23
Stupendamatic  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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 stlcardinals19 said
"Content doesn't have real-world effects," huh? Gonna be interested to see what Boxden believes on this statement
The hypocrisy will be hilarious.
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 2 months ago '18        #24
shooter  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
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 Hellmatic said
Thats right teannies deal with it. Tyranny jokes ain't hurting nobody
You spelled a slur for transgender wrong two different ways.

Dave Chapelle is a comedic genius
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 2 months ago '08        #25
WarviewVA 
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Another thread about gays...
+1   



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