Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby has launched a scathing attack on a Netflix executive who cited her comedy specials in defence of the streaming platform’s support for US comedian Dave Chappelle.
In a memo sent to employees regarding the controversy surrounding Chappelle’s new Netflix comedy special The Closer, company co-chief executive and chief content officer Ted Sarandos cited both Gadsby and Chappelle’s comedy specials as examples of the diversity of content the streaming platform provides.
“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,” the memo from Mr Sarandos read.
Following the public release of the memos, Gadsby attacked Sarandos, saying he had fuelled the abuse she already experienced from Chappelle’s fans.
Gadsby has two comedy specials on Netflix: Nanette and Douglas.
“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.
“F*** 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.”
There have been calls for Netflix to remove The Closer from the service over comments Chappelle makes in the special about transgender people.
Mr Sarandos has continued to defend the special, describing it as “an important part of our content offering”.
Employee fired for leaking Netflix data
In further fallout from the controversy surrounding The Closer, a Netflix employee has been reportedly fired for leaking confidential financial data related to the comedy special to news organisation Bloomberg.
A Netflix spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter that an employee had been “let go” for “sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company.
“We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”
The Bloomberg article detailed the cost of The Closer compared to other programs produced by the streaming service.
The article claimed Netflix spent US$24.1 million ($32.49 million) on The Closer and US$23.6 million on Chappelle’s 2019 special, Sticks & Stones, compared to US$21.4 million on hit Korean show Squid Game.
According to internal metrics cited in the piece, Sticks & Stones special had an “impact value” of US$19.4 million, meaning it cost more than it generated.Internet Explorer Channel Network