Vanity Fair TV critic Sonia Saraiya accuses Netflix of “enlightening the audience” amid the uproar over Dave Chappelle’s new stand-up special.
The streaming giant has backed Chappelle’s “The Closer”, which critics including Saraiya have called “transphobic” the remarks he made in supporting JK Rowling in such an act, declaring himself on “the team. TERF ”, which stands for radical trans-feminist exclusion.
Saraiya insisted that Netflix “spent the last week alienating” its queer audience.
“Of course, Chappelle is a comedian who relies on tweaking our most sensitive buttons, and has targeted trans people in his humor in the past. But this special blurs controversy and memory, incorporating the suicide of Chappelle’s trans friend Daphne Dorman into a special that also claims, without much humor, that ‘gender is a fact’, ”Saraiya wrote on Friday. .
Saraiya then cited Netflix employees who were outspoken in their condemnation of the Chappelle special and cited Netflix’s internal drama which included the suspension of a trans employee who had tried to storm a high-level meeting and the dismissal of another trans employee who had fled. financial documents regarding Chappelle’s specials to Bloomberg News.
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« [Netflix CEO Ted] Sarandos’ memo chose to refocus the conversation on whether or not “The Closer” caused damage, and then firmly state that it didn’t. This led the executive to adopt bold language: “While some employees disagree, we strongly believe that on-screen content does not directly translate into real-world damage… The Evidence the strongest support is that screen violence has increased dramatically. over the past thirty years, especially with first-party shooters, yet violent crime has declined dramatically in many countries. Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it hurting others, ”Saraiya said, quoting the Netflix boss.
“There are so many red flags in this statement that I’m not sure where to start. You must certainly admire his flippant conviction; after all, what exactly would make Ted Sarandos an expert on how what we see on screen affects who we are in life? The statement turns watching Chappelle into a matter of taste, a personal choice that has no political ramifications, ”Saraiya responded to Sarandos. “It’s so slippery and difficult to determine what makes someone violent that it’s hard to immediately refute Sarandos’ claim – and trying to refute it puts you in a bind of trying to uncover the motivations for the hatred.” “
After citing statistics of an upsurge in anti-trans violence, Saraiya wrote, “It’s not rocket science to suggest that a huge comedian denouncing bigotry on a major media platform might make it a little more likely. that a group of people already at risk will suffer more violence. Chappelle offers absolution for prejudices; it makes anti-trans prejudices acceptable, digestible, even funny. Netflix knows how powerful Chappelle’s anti-trans rhetoric is, as his promotions have dedicated, vocal fans. Ironically, Sarandos chooses and chooses his real-world effects; he distinguishes the adoration of Chappelle fans while dismissing the effect of anti-trans rhetoric. “
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The Vanity Fair reviewer acknowledged that Sarandos’ support for Chappelle “is at least in part a question of money” as Netflix has invested several million dollars in the comedian and “studio heads have long done business in the world. devil for their talent ”.
“Sarandos, and the leadership of Netflix as a whole, seem to think that the efforts to make Chappelle adapt to the platform are worth wasting the years of goodwill and investment in making Netflix a space where queer audiences are seen as just as important and valuable as straight. viewers. They certainly seem particularly convinced that while they collect their “impact value” on Chappelle’s specials, his rhetoric doesn’t hurt. I’ll be curious to see what costs, if any, they incur in severing their long-standing relationship with the LGBTQ + community, ”added Saraiya.