In the USA, a discussion about a Netflix appearance by Dave Chappelle has sparked. The comedian joked about trans people, which sparked criticism. Still, Netflix doesn’t want to take the show off the platform.
12.10.2021, 14:0412.10.2021, 16:24
That’s what Chappelle says
“Gender is a fact,” said Dave Chappelle in an appearance that has been on Netflix for a few days. The US comedian sparked a controversy that was not entirely unexpected. In previous appearances, the 48-year-old spoke again and again about trans people and was criticized for it.
In the latest Netflix special, “The Closer”, Chappelle followed up. «Gender is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to go through the legs of a woman to be on earth », says the comedian, who subsequently compared the genitals of trans people with the meat substitute product Beyond Meat.
“It tastes like pussy, but it’s not what it really is.”
Chappelle: “I’m not saying that trans women are not women. I’m just saying these pussies that they have … you know. I’m not saying this isn’t a pussy, but it’s like Beyond Pussy or Impossible Pussy. It tastes like pussy, but it’s not what it really is. It’s not blood, it’s beetroot juice. “
Chappelle also spoke about Caitlyn Jenner. In 2015, she announced that she was a trans woman. A year later, she had already been voted “Woman of the Year”, according to Chappelle. “She hit all of you women in Detroit without ever having a period in her life,” said Chappelle.
The comedian had the audience’s laughter on his side, but he already had an inkling of what was to come: “Oh buddy, now I’m in trouble.”
Criticism is loud
Indeed, it did not take long for Chappelle’s performance to be criticized. Netflix users demanded that the streaming platform take down the special. The civil rights organization “National Black Justice Coalition” announced: “It is deeply disappointing that Netflix has allowed Dave Chappelle’s lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to broadcast.”
Netflix also received headwinds from employees. Jaclyn Moore, a producer on the Netflix show “Dear White People,” announced that she would no longer work with Netflix after Chappelle’s special because the company “continues to publish and benefit from overt and dangerous transphobic content.”
A Twitter thread from Terra Field, who works – or has worked – as a software developer at Netflix, also caused a stir. Field wrote that Chappelle was attacking the trans community and questioning the validity of being trans. The Twitter thread quickly went viral and sparked a discussion about freedom of expression and “cancel culture”.
I work at @netflix. Yesterday we launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness – all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You’re going to hear a lot of talk about “offense”.
We are not offended 🧵
— Terra Field (@RainofTerra) October 7, 2021
The discussion about Field’s contribution became even more intense in the coming days, as the software developer was fired along with two other employees. Not because of the tweets, but because she wanted to attend a meeting she was not allowed to attend. At least this is what «The Verge» writes. In a statement from Netflix it said: “It is absolutely untrue that we suspended employees because of a tweet about this program. Our employees are encouraged to be open about their opinions, and we support their right to do so. “
Netflix leaves the show online
Chappelle’s show sparked debate within the Netflix workforce. Shortly after “The Closer” went online, employees asked management questions about where the company was drawing a line on transphobia. On October 8th, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sandaros responded to these questions with an email that was available to “The Verge”.
Sandaros has no plans to take the special off the platform. He writes:
Some of you have asked where we draw the line from hatred. We don’t allow titles that incite hatred or violence on Netflix, and we don’t think The Closer is crossing that line. […] Some people find the art of stand-up comedy evil, but our members enjoy it and it’s an important part of our content offering.