Netflix boss Ted Sarandos has admitted he “screwed up” after defending Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special.
Chappelle and Netflix were criticised by the LGBTQ community over several jokes featured in his new special, where he labelled himself “team TERF” when discussing the controversy surrounding Harry Potter author JK Rowling.
In the wake of the special’s release and subsequent controversy, Netflix then fired an employee for leaking information about the special.
Sarandos had sent a memo to Netflix staff members after labelling the criticism as “dumbass”, then saying: “As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom – even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful.”
Now in a new interview he has admitted he “screwed up” as far as “internal communication” is confirmed, nodding to the memo he sent out.
“First and foremost, I should have led with a lot more humanity,” Sarandos told Variety. “Meaning, I had a group of employees who were definitely feeling pain and hurt from a decision we made. And I think that needs to be acknowledged up front before you get into the nuts and bolts of anything.
“I didn’t do that. That was uncharacteristic for me, and it was moving fast and we were trying to answer some really specific questions that were floating. We landed with some things that were much more blanket and matter-of-fact that are not at all accurate.”
Comedian Hannah Gadsby hit out at Netflix for keeping Chappelle’s special on their platform, writing: “Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.”