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Netflix CEO Defends Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais amid Controversy Over Trans Jokes

By: Buzz Staff

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Last Updated: May 30, 2022, 16:11 IST

Netflix CEO Defends Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais. (Image: Twitter)

Netflix CEO Defends Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais. (Image: Twitter)

American stand-up comedians David Chappelle and Ricky Gervais had recently come under fire for cracking jokes on the transgender community.

American stand-up comedians David Chappelle and Ricky Gervais had recently come under fire for cracking jokes on the transgender community in their Netlfix stand-up specials. While the controversy even led to some Netflix employees walking out in protest, the CEO of the streaming platform, Ted Sarandos, has come out in support of the artists, reported LADbible.

In an interview with The New York Times, Sarandos backed the comedians and highlighted the surprising reaction to their jokes. The CEO said the comedians can only know what is acceptable and what is not by “crossing the line every once in a while.” Talking of freedom of expression, Sarandos added that free expression is important for the American culture.

Sarandos said, “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.” He added that although there should be some content available for everybody, “everything’s not going to be for everybody.”

Speaking about supporting Dave Chappelle amid the controversy, Sarandos said it was an opportunity for him to put his free-speech principles to the test. Underlining Dave’s popularity, Sarandos said he is the comedian of our generation and “Nobody would say that what he does isn’t thoughtful or smart.”

Although Sarandos did not talk much about Gervais, who drew flak for his jokes, he insisted his remarks on Chappelle also apply to Gervais.

Highlighting the issue of censorship, Sarandos also said if content would be censored in the US, then defending it would get difficult in the Middle East.

David Chappelle had joked about the trans community in his Netflix special The Closer. He faced backlash from the LGBTQ+ community while many even called for removing the show from Netflix. Earlier, Chappelle attacked on the stage by a man while he was performing at the Netflix is a Joke event in Los Angeles. However, just moments after being attacked, Chappelle managed to squeeze in a joke about trans and said that the attacker was a trans man.

Ricky Gervais, meanwhile, witnessed backlash for ‘transphobic’ jokes that he cracked in his stand-up show Super Nature.

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first published:May 30, 2022, 16:11 IST
last updated:May 30, 2022, 16:11 IST