Netflix Defends Dave Chappelle; Won’t Pull ‘The Closer’ Special Amid Criticism

LOS ANGELES, CA - August 08, 2018: Dave Chappelle at the Los Angeles premiere of "BlacKkKlansman" at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, Beverly Hills


Netflix is standing by Dave Chappelle and defending the comedian’s latest stand-up special, The Closer, amid backlash and criticism for controversial jokes. The streaming service said it supported Chappelle’s “artistic” freedom and would not be pulling it from the platform.

“We don’t allow titles [on] Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe ‘The Closer’ crosses that line,” Netflix co-Chief Executive Officer Ted Sarandos said in a memo, according to Variety.

“Particularly in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is obviously a very different standard of speech than we allow internally as the goals are different: entertaining people versus maintaining a respectful, productive workplace.”

Netflix suspended a trio of employees on Monday, including a transgender worker Terra Field, who was outspoken against the special on social media, for crashing an executive meeting last week. Netflix insisted the company did not suspend the employees for their tweets, but for interrupting the meeting they were not supposed to be at.

TMZ recently spotted Chappelle out and about following the release of The Closer and he couldn’t have shown less concern. Chappelle was confronted with questions about his comments, but he just smiled for the camera, muttering “Dumbass questions,” and driving off.

And if you expected a reaction from Chappelle, you never listened to his words because he tried to warn us that the backlash was never going to bother him — especially the commentary on social media.

“Apparently they dragged me on Twitter,” Chappelle says during his special. “I don’t give a *, because Twitter is not a real place.”

The Closer is streaming now on Netflix.

Dave Chappelle ‘The Closer’ Trailer & Viewing Details

Date: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Time: 3:00 AM EST
Live Stream: Stream 1

In 2017, Chappelle dropped four stand-up specials despite his lucrative deal with Netflix only requiring three. The specials were titled The Age of Spin, Deep in the Heart of Texas, Equanimity, and The Bird Revelation. In 2019, he followed up with Sticks & Stones.

“Dave Chappelle is a legendary voice in comedy — searing, vital and now more than ever, essential,” said Lisa Nishimura, Netflix VP of original documentary and comedy, in a statement when the deal with Netflix was first announced. “Dave’s three new specials promise to be some of the most anticipated events in comedy, and we are honored he will mark his global return on Netflix.”

So don’t waste any more time and go check out the special now.

Dave Chappelle Is Unbothered By Backlash Over ‘The Closer’ Special (VIDEO)
Dave Chappelle Is Unbothered By Backlash Over ‘The Closer’ Special (VIDEO)
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