Ted Sarandos, CEO of Netflix, stated in an email that on-screen content does not cause real-world harm.
Sarandos mentioned a decline of violent crime in recent years despite an increase violent content.
He was defending Dave Chappelle’s "The Closer," a book that has been criticized because of its transphobic comments.
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Ted Sarandos, Netflix's co-CEO, stated this week that the company believes that on-screen content does not directly translate into real-world harm. Variety reported another defense of Dave Chappelle’s comedy special.
Some employees have criticized the streaming giant for hosting "The Closer", which activists claim contains transphobic comments. Chappelle claims "gender is a fact" in the special and defends JK Rowling (Harry Potter) author, who has been criticised for making transphobic remarks. Chappelle stated that he also identified with TERFs or trans-exclusionary radical women.
According to The Verge, Sarandos originally defended the special in an email sent Friday to company leaders. After Netflix employees protested the special, he doubled down on his remarks in an email to the entire company sent Monday. Variety obtained the email.
"With 'The Closer', we understand that the concern does not revolve around offensive-to-some content, but titles which could cause real harm (such as further marginalizing groups already marginalized, hate, violence, and so on). )," Sarandos wrote. "Although some employees may disagree, we believe that the content of a screen does not directly translate into real-world harm.
He said, "The strongest evidence supporting this is that violence has increased enormously over the past thirty years, particularly with first-party shooting games. However, violent crime has declined in many countries." Adults can enjoy violent, sexually assaulting, or abusive comedy without it causing harm to others.
GLAAD issued a statement in response to these comments: "GLAAD founded 36 years ago because media representations have consequences for LGBTQ people. Television and film have been filled by stereotypes and misinformation about our lives, which has led to real-world harm, particularly for transgender people and LGBTQ people of colour.
A transgender Netflix employee spoke out against the special last week in a viral Twitter thread. She also claimed that transphobic content can cause physical harm and listed transgender people who had been killed.
Terra Field, an employee, was suspended but later reinstated by the company.
On Wednesday, "The Closer," Chappelle's content was third on Netflix US.