Netflix CEO Defends Dave Chappelle’s ‘The Closer’ Special

As of right now, the comedian will not be canceled.

Dave Chappelle has been at the center of controversy for the last several days. His latest stand-up special, The Closer, was met with criticism from LGBTQ groups such as the National Black Justice Coalition.

NBJC Executive Director David Johns even called for Netflix to remove The Closer from its platform. However, the streaming service does not seem to be headed in that direction.

According to Variety, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos sent a memo to the company’s employees following a quarterly business review. Sarandos defended Dave Chappelle’s comedy.

“Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him. His last special Sticks & Stones, also controversial, is our most-watched, stickiest, and most award-winning stand-up special to date,” wrote Ted Sarandos.

He added, “As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful.” 

Netflix reportedly suspended three employees, including a transgender woman, for crashing the executive meeting. An investigation into the matter is said to be pending.

Dave Chappelle also does not seem to be too concerned about the criticism directed at The Closer. The five-time Emmy winner is quoted telling the crowd at a screening of his upcoming documentary, “If this is what being canceled is about, I love it.”

The Closer is currently the #3 most-watched program on Netflix in the United States. It only trails Squid Game and Maid in viewership at the moment. 2019’s Sticks & Stones won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album and three Primetime Emmy Awards.