Official Netflix Twitter account joins Dave Chappelle backlash: ‘We can’t always control what goes on screen’

·2 min read

An official Netflix Twitter account that promotes the streamer’s LGBTQ+ content has addressed the backlash to Dave Chappelle’s new special The Closer.

The stand-up comedian faced heavy criticism last week following the release of a Netflix special in which he mocked trans people and said he was “team Terf” like JK Rowling.

@Most – an official Netflix Twitter profile that promotes the platform’s LGBTQ+ content – has since addressed the backlash.

In a series of tweets, “the queer and trans people” who run the account addressed the controversy.

The thread began with an apology for not “posting” sooner, writing that “this week f***ing sucks”.

“We can’t always control what goes on screen. What we can control is what we create here, and the POV [point of view] we bring to internal conversations,” read one tweet.

Most’s social media executives said they would continue to advocate for “bigger and better queer representation”.

“Ok, you can go back to yelling at us now,” Most signed off.

In response to the release of Chappelle’s comedy special, Netflix software engineer Terra Field called out the instalment, stating that it “attacks the trans community, and the very validity of trans-ness”. Field then shared the names of 38 trans persons who were brutally murdered in the US this year.

On Monday (11 October), The Verge reported that Netflix had suspended Field.

Following news that she has since been reinstated, Field said she would be taking some time off to “decompress”.

Another Netflix employee has also reportedly quit over the company’s handling of Chappelle’s special.

In a memo sent to the staff at Netflix on 8 October, which was obtained by Variety, co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended Chappelle’s right to “artistic freedom”.

Dave Chappelle (2019 Invision)
Dave Chappelle (2019 Invision)

Sarandos said The Closer will remain on Netflix and argued that “artistic freedom” in stand-up comedy has a “very different standard of speech” than what is allowed internally within the organisation.

On 13 October, TheLos Angeles Times reported that trans employees and allies at Netflix are planning a walkout to protest the comedian’s special, citing multiple employees who asked to remain anonymous.

The walkout, organised by Netflix’s Trans employee resource group as a “day of rest”, is scheduled for 20 October. Protesting employees want the streamer to acknowledge the harm Chappelle’s special causes to trans and LGBTQ+ people.

They also want Netflix to commit to more diverse and inclusionary programming, including releasing more LGBTQ+ content.