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Hannah Gadsby says 'F**k You' to Netflix after they use her to defend Dave Chappelle's transphobia

Netflix's co-chief executive had name-dropped Hannah Gadsby and some of the other inclusive shows on Netflix to defend Chappelle's show.

Hannah Gadsby says 'F**k You' to Netflix after they use her to defend Dave Chappelle's transphobia
Image source: Left: CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 30: Comedian Dave Chappelle (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images) Right: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 13: Hannah Gadsby (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix)

Trigger warning: This story contains themes of transphobia that some readers may find distressing

Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby lashed out at Netflix after its co-chief executive used her name to defend the company's decision to air Dave Chappelle's transphobic special. "F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult," she told Netflix's Ted Sarandos. Chappelle. targeted the transgender community and declared himself a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) in his comedy special, The Closer, which is currently streaming on Netflix. The streaming giant had come under pressure for allowing transphobic content to air on its platform. Ted Sarandos, Netflix's co-chief executive, defended the company's actions and tried to cash in the goodwill from producing diverse content on the platform including Gadsby's comedy specials.  

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 13: Hannah Gadsby attends the FYSEE Hannah Gadsby conversation and reception at Raleigh Studios on May 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix)


Hannah Gadsby, who released two comedy specials — Nanette (2017) and Douglas (2020) — on the platform, didn't mince her words when she hit back at Netflix. "Hey, Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn't drag my name into your mess," she wrote in an Instagram post, before calling out Dave Chappelle. “Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chapelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view.”



"You didn't pay me nearly enough to deal with the real-world consequences of the hate speech dog-whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult… I do shits with more backbone than you. She then added, "That's just a joke! I definitely didn't cross a line because you just told the world there isn't one." Gadsby hit back after Sarandos had used her special to defend Chappelle's special. “We are working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story,” read Sarandos’ email to staff, reported The Hollywood Reporter. “So we have Sex Education, Orange Is The New Black, Control Z, Hannah Gadsby, and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself,” he wrote. 



“Distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries,” read the memo from Sarandos. “Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering. Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him. His last special ‘Sticks & Stones’ also controversial, is our most-watched, stickiest, and most award-winning stand-up special to date.”



Sarandos also claimed that Chappelle's words wouldn't hurt the trans community. "While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn't directly translate to real-world harm," he wrote. Ironically, a Netflix documentary, Disclosure, studies "Hollywood's depiction of transgender people and the impact it's left on both the transgender community and American culture."



As we reported earlier, Jaclyn Moore, an executive producer of Netflix’s show Dear White People, announced that she will no longer be working with Netflix after Chappelle’s special. Moore said she doesn't want to work with a company that continues to promote and profit from dangerous transphobic content. "He ended his special with a "but I had a trans friend" story," she said of Chappelle. "He says we don't listen. But he's not listening. Those words have real-world consequences. Consequences that every trans woman I know has dealt with. Bruises and panicked phone calls to friends. That's real. I've been thrown against walls because 'I'm not a "real" woman.' I've had beer bottles thrown at me. So, Netflix, I'm done," she wrote. 

If you're trans and are being subjected to abuse, or need any help, please reach out to TRANS LIFELINE at 877-330-6366.

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