Netflix CEO Apologizes for Having Principles
There’s really no good reason why we should still be talking about Dave Chappelle’s 2-week-old standup special The Closer. Except that Netflix employees have wielded it as means of inserting themselves into high-level company affairs, demanding that the company accede to their demands, seemingly as penance for its decision to platform Chappelle.
For people who have actually committed an hour of their time to watching the special, it’s a stretch to portray Chappelle as a man with animus toward the trans community. He makes a point of opposing North Carolina’s bathroom bills, which would bar transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice, saying that no American should have to show their birth certificate to take a shit in a Walmart bathroom (true). He attempts to delineate the difference between such mean-spirited laws and feeling annoyed by the quickly changing elite consensus that we must actively cheer on the transgender rights movement, as opposed to just not being all that interested in the demands of a niche subgroup. He closes with a tale of his friend, the transgender comic Daphne Dorman, who committed suicide purportedly after facing online fury from people in the trans community (though Chappelle takes care not to assign a singular cause to her decision to take her own life). The through line is a commentary on the plight of the black man in America, along with a lamentation that it’s terribly easy for people to get barred from polite society, immediately and retroactively, for committing acts or uttering words that offend people’s poorly-calibrated sensibilities.
The special is characteristically irreverent—which you should expect if you’ve seen literally anything that Chappelle has ever worked on before. And it created such a firestorm of internal criticism that Netflix’s trans employee resource group organized a walkout, which took place earlier today, while laying a list of demands at the feet of Netflix executives.
I’m so happy I didn’t do my eye makeup yet because now I’m sobbing. How did our little group turn into this? ????
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