Dave Chappelle is set to receive more Netflix comedy specials despite ongoing controversy.
The comedian received backlash last year over his stand-up special The Closer in which he described himself as “team TERF” when addressing controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling.
LGBTQ+ rights group GLAAD said that his “brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalised communities”, while many others also spoke out. Some Netflix employees also staged a virtual walkout in protest over his comments.
But Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said The Closer was “one of the most entertaining specials we’ve ever had”, adding that the platform would work with Chappelle “again and again”.
“We’re just trying to be the most exciting entertainment company and more,” Hastings said when asked about the controversy at The New York Times‘ DealBook Summit yesterday (November 30) per The Verge.
Hastings called Chappelle’s special “very entertaining and provocative” and said that it aligned with Netflix’s overall goal of being “about entertainment”.
Earlier this year Netflix commissioned four new specials from Chappelle, called Chappelle’s Home Team.
Responding to the original backlash to his special, Chappelle commented last October: “I said what I said and boy I heard what you said. My god, how could I not?
“You said you want a safe working environment at Netflix. Well, it seems like I’m the only one that can’t go to the office anymore.”
Netflix boss Ted Sarandos initially defended Chappelle although later admitted that he “screwed up” in his response.