Hannah Gadsby has called out Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos for ‘dragging her’ into ‘his mess’ after he referenced her in a statement defending Dave Chappelle‘s stand-up special ‘The Closer’ amid accusations of transphobia and bigotry.
In an Instagram post on Friday, the Australian comedian, who has two comedy specials on the streaming platform that cover homophobia and sexism, offered a scathing response to Sarandos.
Referencing a memo sent to employees that suggested Chappelle and Gadsby’s programs offer diverse content to ensure ‘marginalised communities aren’t defined by a single story’, the 43-year-old said she’s been ‘subjected’ to hate online.
Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby (pictured) has called out Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos for ‘dragging her’ into ‘his mess’, after the CEO used her name to defend against claims of transphobia in Dave Chappelle’s stand-up special ‘The Closer’
‘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,’ Gadsby wrote on Instagram.
‘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.
In an Instagram post on Friday, Gadsby, 43, who has two comedy specials on the streaming platform that cover homophobia and sexism, offered a scathing response to Sarandos
Gadsby, who hails from Tasmania, issued the scathing response after Sarandos name-dropped her in his statement to staff this week while defending the anti-LGBTQI views Chappelle is known for in his comedy specials
‘F*** you and your amoral algorithm cult … I do sh*ts 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,’ she concluded.
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Sarandos for comment in relation to Gadsby’s Instagram post.
Gadsby, who hails from Tasmania, issued the scathing response after Sarandos name-dropped her in his statement to staff this week while defending the anti-LGBTQI views Chappelle is known for in his comedy specials.
Dave Chappelle continues to face backlash over the controversial contents of his latest Netflix special, The Closer (pictured), which critics say are transphobic
Netflix boss Ted Sarandos (pictured) has defended ‘The Closer’ special to his staff, telling them in an email memo this week that ‘content on screen doesn’t translate to real-world harm’
‘We are working hard to ensure marginalised 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. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself,’ Sarandos wrote in his statement.
Activists have been clamoring for removal of Chappelle’s title from Netflix, with a number of the company’s employees scheduled to stage a walkout in protest.
But others have vigorously defended the comic’s special, with the family of Daphne Dorman – a transgender woman and friend of Chappelle’s who committed suicide in 2019 – saying that she would have likely found his material funny.
In his lengthy missive this week, Sarandos stood up for Chappelle’s ‘The Closer’ and its right to be available on the streaming service.
Sarandos also said Netflix are ‘working hard to ensure marginalised 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. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself’
While he acknowledged the concerns aired by the trans community, he denied that when so-called transphobic views are given a platform, they lead to real-world harm, citing examples of other Netflix shows, or ‘titles’.
‘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 the email to staff, obtained by Variety.
‘With ‘The Closer,’ we understand that the concern is not about offensive-to-some content but titles which could increase real world harm (such as further marginalising already marginalised groups, hate, violence etc.)
The Closer will be Chappelle’s last stand-up special on Netflix before he takes a break
‘Last year, we heard similar concerns about 365 Days and violence against women. While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm,’ he continued.
Movie 365 Days, referenced by Sarandos, is about an Italian mafia boss who kidnaps a woman he’s infatuated with and demands she spend the next year in his villa.
The movie was slammed by survivors of sexual assault, with singer Duffy writing in an open letter to CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings that it ‘glamourises the brutal reality of sex trafficking, kidnapping and rape.’
Sarandos’ memo continued: ‘The strongest evidence to support this is that violence on screens has grown hugely over the last thirty years, especially with first party shooter games, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly in many countries.
‘Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it causing them to harm others,’ he said.
GLAAD, a queer media watchdog, contested Sarandos’ claim, with a spokesperson telling Variety the organisation was ‘founded 36 years ago because media representation has consequences for LGBTQ people.
‘Authentic media stories about LGBTQ lives have been cited as directly responsible for increasing public support for issues like marriage equality,’ they said.
‘But film and TV have also been filled with stereotypes and misinformation about us for decades, leading to real world harm, especially for trans people and LGBTQ people of colour. Ironically, the documentary ‘Disclosure’ on Netflix demonstrates this quite clearly.’
Activists have been clamouring for the title’s removal from Netflix, with a number of the company’s employees scheduled to stage a walkout in protest
In ‘The Closer’, Chapelle backed author JK Rowling over her comments on gender, said ‘gender is a fact’, and announced ‘I’m team TERF.’ TERF stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.
The term is generally used by some trans people and their allies to attack others who disagree with some parts of their call for equality for Trans people.
Hot button issues include whether trans women and girls should be allowed to compete against girls in some sports, whether trans women should be able to access certain spaces – including women’s prisons and domestic violence shelters – and whether children who believe themselves to be trans should be given hormones to delay the onset of puberty.
Members of the company’s Trans ERG said that ‘our leadership has shown us they do not uphold the values to which we are held.’ Above is the company’s co-CEO Reed Hastings