Hannah Gadsby has no interest in being a silent pawn for Netflix.
The comedian pushed back at an email the streaming service’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos reportedly sent to all of the company’s employees earlier this week. In it, Sarandos defended transphobic jokes made in Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special “The Closer” by saying “that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”
“Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse — or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy — without it causing them to harm others,” Sarandos wrote, according to Variety.
“We are working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story. So we have ‘Sex Education,’ ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ ‘Control Z,’ Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix.”
Gadsby, whose comedy specials “Nanette” (2017) and “Douglas” (2020) were released by Netflix, clearly did not appreciate her name being used in the company’s ongoing justification for giving transphobia a platform. So she published a scathing response on Instagram Thursday throwing Netflix’s dismissive messaging right back in its face.
Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess. Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view.
You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult … I do shits with more back bone than you. That’s just a joke! I definitely didn’t cross a line because you just told the world there isn’t one.
Gadsby captioned the post with, “Yes I watched the whole thing. Leave me alone. #transisbeautiful #comedyisdead #ikilledit.”
Gadsby’s remarks come as Netflix continues to face backlash over Chappelle’s special. Shortly after “The Closer” was released last week, members of the LGBTQ community quickly called out Chappelle’s transphobic and homophobic jokes and asked the streamer to pull the special from its platform, saying the jokes would contribute to continued violence against trans people. Netflix defended the special, saying it didn’t cross “the line on hate” and will remain on the streaming service despite backlash.
The A.V. Club reported that many Netflix employees were planning a companywide walkout next week in response to the comments. The Hollywood Reporter added that staff had cited Sarandos’ recent email as a key driver of the plan.