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11 Oct, 12 tweets, 6 min read
Netflix’s Ted Sarandos is defending Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special: “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.” Image
In a memo to Netflix staffers, co-CEO Sarandos says, “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.” Image
The firebrand comedian has drawn criticism from the LGBTQ+ community in recent days over several jokes, specifically around the “thin skin” of trans people and the effects of so-called “cancel culture.” Image
In the memo sent after Netflix’s quarterly business review, a two-day gathering of the top 500 employees at the company, Sarandos offered guidance on how managers should handle upset employees and angry talent speaking out against Chappelle. Image
“Chapelle 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 & most award winning stand-up special to date,” Sarandos wrote. Image
As examples, Sarandos referenced Netflix content, including “Cuties,” the film meant to comment on the “hypersexualization of children,” which in turn was accused of promoting lewd images of minors; “13 Reasons Why;” and “My Unorthodox Life.” ImageImage
Seeming to address industry rumors that many Netflix employees were incensed by the company’s silence over Chappelle’s remarks about the trans community, Sarandos said, “Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate...” Image
“We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe ‘The Closer’ crosses that line,” the co-CEO said of Chappelle’s new special. Image
“Distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”
“In terms of our commitment to inclusion, we’re working hard to ensure more people see their lives reflected on screen,” Sarandos said before referencing Netflix titles “Sex Education,” “Young Royals,” “Control Z” and “Disclosure.”
“Particularly in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is obviously a very different standard of speech than we allow internally as the goals are different: entertaining people versus maintaining a respectful, productive workplace,” Sarandos said. Image
Read the Netflix co-CEO's full remarks

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More from @Variety

14 Oct
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos is doubling down on his defense of Dave Chappelle following the mounting controversy around his latest comedy special: “We have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” Image
After addressing top leadership, Sarandos sent a lengthy missive on Monday to the entire company — some of whom have increasingly expressed outrage over jokes about the trans community in “The Closer,” and have scheduled a walkout protest in response. Image
“We know that a number of you have been left angry, disappointed and hurt by our decision to put Dave Chappelle’s latest special on Netflix,” Sarandos wrote in an email obtained by Variety. Image
Read 16 tweets
12 Oct
AMC has greenlit an episodic anthology series in #TheWalkingDead universe. Each one hour episode of #TalesOfTheWalkingDead will feature both new and existing characters. Image
The show’s six-episode first season is slated to debut on AMC and AMC Plus in summer 2022. Image
Channing Powell, who has worked as a writer and producer on both #TWD and “Fear the Walking Dead,” serves as showrunner. Powell will work alongside Scott M. Gimple, the chief content officer of “The Walking Dead” universe. Image
Read 8 tweets
8 Oct
Dwayne @TheRock Johnson Makes Historic Rap Debut (EXCLUSIVE)
Dwayne @TheRock Johnson has conquered the box office, the wrestling ring, TV ratings and tequila sales — now, is he about to dominate the charts?

Johnson’s about to make history with his rap debut on @TechN9ne’s new single, “Face Off.”
“A lot of my friends who are hip-hop artists — like big names — I’ve been asked a few times. But it just has to feel right,” Johnson says. “When Tech texted me, I knew I would make this work. We’re aligned, just in terms of our work ethic and desire.”
Read 15 tweets
8 Oct
#That70sShow is getting a spinoff at Netflix titled “That ’90s Show.”
Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, who played Red and Kitty Forman in the original series, are set to return in “That ’90s Show.”
Netflix has ordered 10 episodes of the spinoff. It will be a multi-cam sitcom like the original.
Read 7 tweets
7 Oct
Superstar chef Bobby Flay and Food Network are set to part ways after a 27-year run that has made the restaurateur and businessman one of the country’s most recognizable culinary figures.
Flay and Food Network have been in negotiations on a new contract for some time. His most recent three-year pact with the Discovery-owned cabler expires at year’s end. Sources close to the situation said that Food Network has ended the negotiations.
Flay’s representatives at WME declined to comment on the situation, citing the policy of not commenting on active negotiations. That’s an indication that Flay’s team sees some hardball negotiating tactics afoot.
Read 7 tweets
7 Oct
#DearWhitePeople showrunner @JaclynPMoore announced Wednesday she would be boycotting Netflix over Dave Chappelle’s transphobic new special.

She opened up to Variety’s @marcmalkin about why she’s taking a stand against the “dangerous” rhetoric.
“I never loved Dave’s trans material before but this time it felt different,” Moore told Variety. “This is the first time I felt like, ‘Oh, people are laughing at this joke and they’re agreeing that it’s absurd to call me a woman.’”
“The fact is that’s the exact rhetoric and language that is used against us,” Moore continued. “He talks about our feelings being hurt. My feelings are fine, but being thrown against a wall hurts or worrying at night if I can get home safe.”
Read 8 tweets

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