Two days ago (Monday, 10.11) Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos sent a lengthy email to Netflix employees following the Dave Chappelle trans controversy over The Closer, according to Variety‘s Matt Donnelly.
Sarandos basically doubled down on Netflix’s support for Chappelle and reiterated the company’s intention to not pull The Closer.
I wish I could report that Sarandos’ email also said something like “a lot of us are frankly tiring of woke Twitter fanatics losing their shit whenever a performer says or tweets the wrong thing, including things they may have said 10 or 20 years ago, the idea being to cancel a show or ruin a career and generally spread terror throughout the community.”
I would be an even happier man if I could add that Sarandos wrote, “I’m not the only one who’s sick of this woke bullshit. Almost everyone is, and I’m talking about moderate liberals and people like Chappelle and Jimmy Kimmel and Sasha Stone and Bill Maher and Jerry Seinfeld as well as Average Joes and Janes who watch Netflix.
“Most of us hate you, in fact, and we’d really like to dump you on some South Pacific island so you can all torture and cancel each other and leave us the fuck alone.
“Woke crusades started out great in ’16, but it quickly got out of hand, and over the last three or four years the liberal media world has been snowflaked and Twitter-terrored to death, and a lot of us are really sick of it. And if you don’t like me saying this out loud, that’s too fucking bad. Because you can always quit.”
Alas, Sarandos didn’t say any of this. But I’ll bet you twenty dollars that he was thinking at least some of it when he wrote the message.
“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 an email 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 marginalizing already marginalized groups, hate, violence etc.)
“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.
“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.”
Donnelly: “That Sarandos would wade into a debate about the potential harmful effects of content is notable, given that those who condemn Chappelle’s jokes have specifically cited the physical danger that anti-trans ideology poses to that community.”
Is this the beginning of the end of woke terror and a return to sensible liberalism? Maybe, maybe not. But it smells to me like teen spirit.