Netflix’s LGBTQ+ storytelling arm, Most, has broken its silence on the controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s new special The Closer.
In The Closer, Chappelle makes derogatory comments about trans women’s genitals and says he’s on “Team TERF”. Netflix has resisted calls for the special to be removed, with trans employees planning a mass walkout in protest.
Amid continued criticism, Netflix’s “home of LGBTQ+ storytelling”, Most, posted a four-tweet thread.
“Sorry we haven’t been posting,” Most tweeted on 13 October. “This week f**king sucks.”
Most continued: “To be clear: As the queer and trans people who run this account, you can imagine that the last couple of weeks have been hard. We can’t always control what goes on screen. What we can control is what we create here, and the POV we bring to internal conversations.
“We have been reading all of your comments and using them to continue advocating for bigger and better queer representation.
“ok you can go back to yelling at us now.”
To be clear: As the queer and trans people who run this account, you can imagine that the last couple of weeks have been hard. We can’t always control what goes on screen. What we can control is what we create here, and the POV we bring to internal conversations.
— Most (@Most) October 13, 2021
ok you can go back to yelling at us now
— Most (@Most) October 13, 2021
Right on cue, people on Twitter responded to Most.
In an emoji-heavy tweet, filmmaker Chris Osborn replied: “OK we will. You (personally) are throwing yr siblings under the bus so you can continued to assimilate, reap massive gains in salaried positions & benefits, while trying to feign solidarity with the very ppl most harmed by yr cutesy damage control.
“I hope someday you learn that this company and these bosses will never love you, never ‘see you’, never ‘hear you’, and would replace you in a heartbeat with some other queers the second you act up.”
i hope someday you learn that this company and these bosses will never love you never “see you” never “hear you” and would replace you in a heartbeat with some other queers the second you act up
— Chris Osborn (@Chris_Osborn) October 13, 2021
“Your bosses probably told you to make this candid-sounding thread, this was not genuine in any way,” another user wrote. “I sincerely hope you people behind the screen learn to do better.”
You’re literally a corporate PR account so yes that is your job, to be yelled at and deflect any criticism of your owner
— Tiffed Tapir (@TiffedT) October 14, 2021
Another added: “There’s a weird line-blurring here between individual feelings and corporate responsibility. Criticism isn’t meant for you personally it’s meant for Netflix and yes the hypocrisy of a company making pro-LGBTQ posts with one hand while the other platforms anti-trans hate speech.”
Several other users accused Most of hypocrisy.
— Bridget (@bridget_gvg) October 14, 2021
This has to be one of the worst responses a company can ever make https://t.co/EgDfKSqwLZ
— Edgyninja ✿ (@Edgyninja1) October 14, 2021
Netflix said Dave Chappelle special ‘did not cross the line on hate’
Dave Chappelle’s latest special, which premiered on 5 October on Netflix, sees the comedian make explicit jokes about trans women’s genitals and defend DaBaby and JK Rowling, before declaring himself “Team TERF“. He also discusses Daphne Dorman, a trans comedian who died by suicide in 2019.
Trans writer and showrunner Jaclyn Moore, who worked on Dear White People, cut ties with Netflix on 7 October, saying: “I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”
Thousands of people also signed a petition calling on Netflix to stop streaming The Closer. But Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said it would not be dropping the special, adding that Chappelle’s 2019 special, Sticks & Stones, is Netflix’s “most watched, stickiest, and most award winning stand-up special to date”.
“Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. 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,” Sarandos added.
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