The conversation around Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special, “The Closer” continues. A protest walkout organized by trans Netflix employees is set to take place today (Wednesday, October 20).
An interview Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos gave to Deadline, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter was published last night where he addressed the backlash the organization has received after airing the special.
In the interview, Sarandos acknowledged responsibility and said:
“First, right upfront, I screwed up the internal communication — and I don’t mean just mechanically. I feel I should’ve made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made, and I should’ve recognized upfront before going into a rationalization of anything the pain they were going through. I say that because I respect them deeply, and I love the contribution they have at Netflix. They were hurting, and I should’ve recognized that first.”
He further states that his stance remains unchanged. He was asked if he had second thoughts about his decision to address the issue in internal emails and his statement in one that content “does not translate to real-world harm.”
Sarandos wrote in the internal email to employees, “While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm. 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).”
He responded by saying that this was unchartered territory as their internal emails have never been leaked to the press before and that “they were a conversation in progress.” He continued saying that the email “landed like a big blanket statement.” The statement intended to convey that “of course storytelling has an impact on the real world — sometimes positive and sometimes negative.”
He concluded, “It’s impossible to please everybody but we are trying to please a world that is made of people of different tastes, sensibilities and beliefs, and it becomes very difficult to do that for everybody.”