“With The Closer, we understand that the concern is not about content that is offensive to some, but titles that could increase real-world damage (such as further marginalization of already marginalized groups, hatred, violence, etc.). ), ”Sarandos wrote of the Netflix stand-up special. . “Last year we heard similar concerns about 365 days and violence against women. While some employees disagree, we have a firm belief that on-screen content doesn’t translate directly into real-world damage.“The strongest evidence to support this is that screen violence has increased tremendously over the past thirty years, especially with Part 1 [sic] shooting games, yet violent crime has declined dramatically in many countries. Adults can watch violence, assault, and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it causing them to hurt others. ”
Chappelle and The Closer have been criticized for transphobic jokes, especially Chappelle’s statement that he is part of “Team TERF” – radical trans-exclusionist feminists, mostly feminists who reject the scientific position that trans women are women. Sarandos made his first defense of the show on October 8, telling employees that “creative freedom … means there will always be content on Netflix that some people think is harmful.” This prompted Netflix’s trans employee resource group to plan a company-wide walkout for October 20.
In a follow-up email sent on Monday, Sarandos acknowledged that some employees were “angry, disappointed and hurt” by the decision to continue wearing The Closer, but then doubled down on his defense with his comparison to violent video games.
There is no doubt that video game makers and gamers have gone to great lengths over the years to demonstrate that violence in gaming does not turn children into killers – the matter has gone all the way to the Supreme Court, who ruled that games, like books and movies, are in fact protected speech. This question is already settled for stand-up comedy specials, so the question here is entirely about Netflix’s leadership values.
Netflix’s stance on these issues is increasingly significant, as the company has further indicated its intention to make games: the Netflix Original movie Kate, about an assassin with 24 hours to live, is being transformed. into a game to be released later this month, and Netflix is also reportedly looking to develop one based on the hit series Squid Game.
But as we said in our report on this Supreme Court decision, you still shouldn’t let your kids play Bulletstorm. “Harm” does not necessarily mean that there is a direct correlation between gun games and live fire.
GLAAD, an organization founded in 1985 with the aim of “accelerating acceptance of the LGBTQ community,” expressed similar sentiments on Twitter: “Netflix has a policy that content” designed to incite hatred or violence ”is not allowed on the platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that. “
As @Netflix is home to groundbreaking LGBTQ stories, now is the time for Netflix executives to listen to LGBTQ employees, industry leaders and the public and commit to their own standards. 2/2October 11, 2021
“People who don’t know LGBTQ people, especially trans people, base their perception of our community on what they see in the media,” a GLAAD representative told Axios. “When these media images are dehumanizing stereotypes and rooted in ridicule, they can and do lead to real-world prejudice and harassment. “
Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby, whose comedy special Douglas was released on Netflix in May 2020, has expressed a somewhat sharper opinion on Sarandos’ stance.
Despite the backlash, it seems unlikely that The Closer will be pulled from Netflix anytime soon: Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said on an internal forum (via The New York Times) that Chappelle and The Closer are very popular with viewers, and that Netflix “will continue to work with Dave Chappelle in the future.”