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‘I Screwed Up’: Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Addresses Dave Chappelle Fallout



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 1 month ago '07        #1
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‘I Screwed Up’: Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Addresses Dave Chappelle Fallout
 

 

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos is speaking out over continued criticism of the Dave Chappelle comedy special “The Closer.”

On the eve of a planned employee walkout at the streaming giant — organized by trans and LGBTQ+ staffers, content creators and allies — Sarandos addressed numerous points related to recent jokes from Chappelle that have incensed the trans community and been labeled as harmful.

The events around “The Closer” have represented a rare blunder for Sarandos and Netflix, whose deep pockets and warm relationships with talent have been transformative for the global entertainment sector for close to a decade. In our conversation, he admits up front that he “screwed up” in the handling of employee concerns, and talks more specifically about what the company does and does not consider hate speech.

Read Sarandos’ Tuesday Q&A with Variety:

Do you have any regrets about how this process was handled, especially in your internal communication with employees?

Ted Sarandos: Obviously, I screwed up that internal communication. I did that, and I screwed it up in two ways. First and foremost, I should have led with a lot more humanity. Meaning, I had a group of employees who were definitely feeling pain and hurt from a decision we made.

And I think that needs to be acknowledged up front before you get into the nuts and bolts of anything. I didn’t do that. That was uncharacteristic for me, and it was moving fast and we were trying to answer some really specific questions that were floating. We landed with some things that were much more blanket and matter-of-fact that are not at all accurate.

Of course storytelling has real impact in the real world. I reiterate that because it’s why I work here, it’s why we do what we do. That impact can be hugely positive, and it can be quite negative. So, I would have been better in that communication.

They were joining a conversation already in progress, but out of context. But that happens, internal emails go out. In all my communications I should lean into the humanity up front and not make a blanket statement that could land very differently than it was intended.

What is the protocol for defining hate speech at Netflix? What crosses the line and what doesn’t?

We are trying to support creative freedom and artistic expression among the artists that work at Netflix. Sometimes, and we do make sure our employees understand this, because of that — because we’re trying to entertain the world, and the world is made up of folks with a lot of different sensibilities and beliefs and senses of humor and all those things — sometimes, there will be things on Netflix that you dislike.

That you even find to be harmful. Where we’ll definitely draw the line is on something that would intentionally call for physically harming other people or even remove protections. For me, intent to cause physical harm crosses the line, for sure.

Have you spoken to Dave Chappelle since this went down?

I know he’s been doing some COVID tour dates in Europe, so I’ve only touched based a few times.

Have the contents of those conversations been at all about the special or the employees of Netflix?

No. I would generally say he was appreciative of supporting the show and his ability to do his act.

I want to circle back and ask definitively, do you personally and does Netflix feel that “The Closer” does not amount to hate speech?

Under the definition of “does it intend to cause physical harm?” I do not believe it falls into hate speech.

So the special will remain on the service?

I don’t believe there have been many calls to remove it.


For the walk out tomorrow, there is a list of “firm asks” from trans employees to rectify this situation. Where are you at in hearing them out, and is anything emerging as a priority in the addressing the “pain” of some employees, as you put it?

I’ve spent the past couple of days listening to folks and sitting down with folks, about where they’re at and how they’re feeling and what they’d like to see moving forward. I’m continuing to do that now. One of the things that I think is very important that I want people to understand is that, going forward, it should be really clear that I support artistic freedom and the creators that work at Netflix. I’m committed to continuing to increase representation on screen and behind the camera, and I’m always open to learn and improve on how to address these challenges.

Is there anything more specifically actionable from the list of requests — like a call for a new trans and nonbinary talent fund be created?

We have a creative equity fund that we’ve heavily invested in exactly the things I believe they are asking about. We have and continue to invest enormous amounts of content dollars in LGBTQ+ stories for the world and giving them a global platform. Specifically, trans and non-binary content as well.

That’s obviously continued strong, and I think we’ll continue on that path. What’s important to remember is that we’ve got incredible growth in our employee base, and a lot of people have joined during COVID and have never met anyone from Netflix.

It’s very tough to understand company history, knowing where we’re at, what we do, and what kind of folks we are. We’ve got to take this opportunity to make sure that they know we are with them and creating this content to spread around the world and creating a great workplace for diverse and marginalized populations. We’re firmly committed to it.

Part of Netflix’s success story is its relationships with talent. Have you had feedback from your creators under overall deals, one-off projects or anyone outside of Netflix but in the creative community?

Yes, in the normal course of talking to folks all the time, they are all curious about these situations. There are some folks who really appreciate the artistic freedom part, and I think they wrestle with some things as well. But yes, I’ve had lots of conversations with our creators in and out of the comedy space.
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86 comments
 

 1 month ago '15        #2
DamianDragunov 
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Don’t fukin back down…
+141   

 1 month ago '10        #3
6.Yrs 
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Good interview. He sounds like a leader.

The interviewer did a good job also. I hate soft ball questions and the reporter didn’t come with any.
+45   

 1 month ago '08        #4
stlcardinals19 
Props total: 18538 18 K  Slaps total: 1414 1 K
I mean. Congrats, but damage is already done. The trans employees got suspended and the organizers of the walkout have already been fired. We'll see how Netflix handles the next ____-charged content soon. Especially their handling of Squid Game moving forward so rapidly
+11   

 1 month ago '18        #5
Sick Flair 
Props total: 20828 20 K  Slaps total: 1494 1 K
Dudes coming off as a bi*ch. I understand he needs too be diplomatic but this is fu*king Netflix. Every other show is gay as fu*k. This n*gga gave Ryan Murphy 500 million to make gay content. How the fu*k can you turn around and ask for a fund for the trans community.

Point blank period these fools don’t want to deal with the truth, America has now become a racist gay country. Not just a racist one. Oh we love the gays but we still hate the n*ggas and they want to prop that up. Dave should be calling that sh*t out. Dude at NF has put on for these n*ggas like no other he should sh*t all over them.
+68   

 1 month ago '13        #6
PsychoCyber 
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Protect Dave at all cost
+50   

 1 month ago '04        #7
DrOmango 
Props total: 203 203  Slaps total: 62 62
 Sick Flair said
Dudes coming off as a bi*ch. I understand he needs too be diplomatic but this is fu*king Netflix. Every other show is gay as fu*k. This n*gga gave Ryan Murphy 500 million to make gay content. How the fu*k can you turn around and ask for a fund for the trans community.

Point blank period these fools don’t want to deal with the truth, America has now become a racist gay country. Not just a racist one. Oh we love the gays but we still hate the n*ggas and they want to prop that up. Dave should be calling that sh*t out. Dude at NF has put on for these n*ggas like no other he should sh*t all over them.

I'm on rarbg for some new pr0n and the first thing I see on main page is trans500 and genderX titles flooding the first two pages....

trans community need to understand, that we aint ready for more gay content on netflix. Give it some time....



Last edited by DrOmango; 10-20-2021 at 04:18 PM..
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 1 month ago '14        #8
westsidedon 
Props total: 10886 10 K  Slaps total: 833 833
off topic....but i was looking at some potential houses to move in..

and they had a LBGTQ index or some sh*t...like how friendly the local economy is towards them ... crazy sh*t
+30   

 1 month ago '16        #9
Knucklez 
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he feelin that pressure lol. A couple more criticisms and he'll probably fold like a bi*ch
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 1 month ago '17        #10
S550  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 Sick Flair said
Dudes coming off as a bi*ch. I understand he needs too be diplomatic but this is fu*king Netflix. Every other show is gay as fu*k. This n*gga gave Ryan Murphy 500 million to make gay content. How the fu*k can you turn around and ask for a fund for the trans community.

Point blank period these fools don’t want to deal with the truth, America has now become a racist gay country. Not just a racist one. Oh we love the gays but we still hate the n*ggas and they want to prop that up. Dave should be calling that sh*t out. Dude at NF has put on for these n*ggas like no other he should sh*t all over them.


These publications result in good and bad press. The first ones protected at stake are the big shareholders like any Corp. Netflix is a publically traded company.

He’s not coming off as a bi*ch he’s protecting the mission of Netflix and the equities at stake ..but also having to show empathy towards both his employees and consumers because regardless what we think or say the LGBT community has been destroying groups left and right

I think his answers were perfect
He handled them like a professional

He’d be an idiot and lose his title if he went any other way. He did it in a way where he said thr content aligns with our brand goals and also saying they will be conscious in the future of understanding peoples opinions. Yet he still said this content is what we stand for .. Creative freedoms
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 1 month ago '17        #11
Fortune  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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bruh fu*k them folks feelings man.

n*ggas can't even take jokes.

at this point they're holding up the actual progress that they seem to bi*ch n moan about so much


Last edited by Fortune; 10-20-2021 at 05:13 PM..
+32   

 1 month ago '15        #12
Djkataz 
Props total: 845 845  Slaps total: 177 177
Crazy how white Men yeah I said it. Have found a way to make them selves the minority and victims. While we been suffering in the hood for years
+31   

 1 month ago '18        #13
Sick Flair 
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 S550 said
These publications result in good and bad press. The first ones protected at stake are the big shareholders like any Corp. Netflix is a publically traded company.

He’s not coming off as a bi*ch he’s protecting the mission of Netflix and the equities at stake ..but also having to show empathy towards both his employees and consumers because regardless what we think or say the LGBT community has been destroying groups left and right

I think his answers were perfect
He handled them like a professional

He’d be an idiot and lose his title if he went any other way. He did it in a way where he said thr content aligns with our brand goals and also saying they will be conscious in the future of understanding peoples opinions. Yet he still said this content is what we stand for .. Creative freedoms
That's fair...
+5   

 1 month ago '16        #14
KingLac  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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fu*k that sh*t let them walkout and give me they job,
+16   

 1 month ago '04        #15
ddash 
Props total: 56999 56 K  Slaps total: 4241 4 K
 Djkataz said
Crazy how white Men yeah I said it. Have found a way to make them selves the minority and victims. While we been suffering in the hood for years
True but alot of that is on black folks too.Lets not erase accountability and the dumb sh*t thats happened and still going on.Moral of the story they unified much more than us and got power.It aint all organic but the front and image sure looks like it.

But Dude better stand his ground cause aint a got damn thing gon happen to him.All smoking mirrors
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 1 month ago '05        #16
carden2 
Props total: 7487 7 K  Slaps total: 1310 1 K
He basically covered his a*s like I should've been more polite with my fu*k you but they are so irrational it made me act out of character.
+21   

 1 month ago '05        #17
projectd06 
Props total: 32839 32 K  Slaps total: 7881 7 K
Comedy is always funny until it isnt, fu*k them.
+4   

Top 10 most propped recently  1 month ago '05        #18
Tha Boss  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x12
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So you mean to tell me out of all the movies TV shows documentaries on Netflix Chapelle special is the only one attacking trannys when he obviously wasn’t. Sidenote I watched it would joke were they upset about

 1 month ago '05        #19
projectd06 
Props total: 32839 32 K  Slaps total: 7881 7 K
 Djkataz said
Crazy how white Men yeah I said it. Have found a way to make them selves the minority and victims. While we been suffering in the hood for years
Those arent men, they are women, address them by their prefered gender , d*ckhead.
-14   

 1 month ago '04        #20
CentsCuZ  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x1
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 Knucklez said
he feelin that pressure lol. A couple more criticisms and he'll probably fold like a bi*ch
Exactly. The mob pressure got to him. That power is no joke.
+1   

 1 month ago '05        #21
projectd06 
Props total: 32839 32 K  Slaps total: 7881 7 K
 Tha Boss said
So you mean to tell me out of all the movies TV shows documentaries on Netflix Chapelle special is the only one attacking trannys when he obviously wasn’t. Sidenote I watched it would joke were they upset about
I'm surprised his other special didnt get folks more upset, but at the same time how can you argue the logic behind this joke.


+16   

 1 month ago '18        #22
Dehone 
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Long as they keep the special on Netflix
+9   

 1 month ago '21        #23
TheLegend  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x27
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 projectd06 said
I'm surprised his other special didnt get folks more upset, but at the same time how can you argue the logic behind this joke.





This n*gga the goat
+7   

 1 month ago '05        #24
Rockstar718 
Props total: 36408 36 K  Slaps total: 3090 3 K
 Sick Flair said
Dudes coming off as a bi*ch. I understand he needs too be diplomatic but this is fu*king Netflix. Every other show is gay as fu*k. This n*gga gave Ryan Murphy 500 million to make gay content. How the fu*k can you turn around and ask for a fund for the trans community.

Point blank period these fools don’t want to deal with the truth, America has now become a racist gay country. Not just a racist one. Oh we love the gays but we still hate the n*ggas and they want to prop that up. Dave should be calling that sh*t out. Dude at NF has put on for these n*ggas like no other he should sh*t all over them.
You missing the point. This is all about employee concerns and how it was handled interally. It's not the general public reaction to the piece. As an employer, you have to ensure you at least hear our your employers and the gay and trans people who work for Netflix are mad they never had an opportunity to at least voice their opinion about the special.

Netflix has done it before with other content. There are movies that have a warning before they play about them being racist or etc. Netflix ain't taking it down. He stated it clearly. Plus his father in law is the Black Godfather Clarence Avant, Ted gonna hold it down for Dave.
+4   

 1 month ago '16        #25
Forza Nocta  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x20
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BX with another thread about something they claim to hate huh?




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