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Netflix CEO says they’ll keep ordering Dave Chappelle standup specials despite public backlash

Netflix CEO says they’ll keep ordering Dave Chappelle standup specials despite public backlash

Reed Hastings said they've been so entertaining, so why wouldn't they keep the good times rolling?

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has revealed he would order Dave Chappelle’s comedy specials ‘again and again’ despite the public backlash.

The Verge reported that Reed addressed Chappelle's comedy special The Closer during The New York Times’ DealBook Summit earlier this week

Despite the special prompting protests from Netflix employees who claimed it was transphobic and homophobic, Hastings regrets nothing.

REUTERS/David Swanson/Alamy

When asked about the streaming platform's controversial deals, Hastings said: “We’re just trying to be the most exciting entertainment company and more.

“That special was one of the most entertaining watch specials we’ve ever had. We would do it again and again.”

The CEO went on to say he views Chappelle as ‘very entertaining and provocative’, which reflects Netflix’s aim of being all ‘about entertainment’.

In November 2021, employees at the company staged a walkout over the comedian’s special, with Terra Field taking charge, as per NBC News.

Following the protests, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the comedian while maintaining that every bit of content on the platform won’t be for everyone during an interview in The New York Times.

He added: “We’re programming for a lot of diverse people who have different opinions and different tastes and different styles, and yet we’re not making everything for everybody.”

Mr Sarandos also cited how important free speech is.

He said: “It was an opportunity to take somebody, like in Dave’s case, who is, by all measure, the comedian of our generation, the most popular comedian on Netflix for sure. Nobody would say that what he does isn’t thoughtful or smart. You just don’t agree with him."

He added: “I think it’s very important to the American culture generally to have free expression.”

In May, the company also updated its Corporate Culture Memo, revealing they would not pull content even if staff deem it ‘harmful’, as per Variety.

In the memo, Netflix has added an anti-censorship section to provide a ‘variety’ of shows to viewers.

Netflix also added some new guidelines for its employees, warning if they do not support the content the platform distributes, the company may not be the ‘best place for you’.

They wrote: "As employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values. Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you."

Featured Image Credit: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa. PictureLux / The Hollywood Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Netflix, Celebrity