The controversy against Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s content director, began when a few days ago he made the decision not to remove the stand-up special from the platform The Closer, made by Dave chappelle. The content was singled out for its transphobic and misogynistic jokes, arousing the disagreement of several employees at the company, including a transgender engineer who was suspended for speaking at an executive meeting to speak on the subject. Things for Sarandos they got really bad and now he comes back with new statements in which he admits to having erred in some words.
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For Variety, Ted Sarandos commented last Thursday: “While some employees disagree, we strongly believe that screen content does not directly translate into real-world harm.” This aroused the ire of the trans community, and even queer Netflix employees spoke out through an official company account. He could not believe the executive’s words when he said that series and movies have no impact on reality. Now, The Hollywood Reporter interviews Sarandos and asks if his posture has changed.
No, my position has not changed. I can tell you that I screwed up with those statements in two ways. First and foremost, you should have acknowledged in those emails that a group of our employees were hurting and genuinely hurt by a business decision we made. And I, instead of acknowledging that first, focused directly on a few reasons. So I would say that those emails lacked humanity, in which I generally communicate with our teams.
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Although Ted Sarandos admits its insensitivity and lack of empathy towards the trans community and argues that “this content on screen can have an impact in the real world, positive or negative,” also points out that the company will not eliminate the special of Dave chappelle of the platform. That decision could be controversial for those who are fighting for respect for transgender people, but the executive takes up the controversial position of the company, highlighting the importance of free speech and the need for variety in Netflix content:
When we think of this challenge, we have to entertain the world, part of that challenge means that you have audiences with various tastes, various sensitivities, various beliefs. You can’t really please everyone or the content would be pretty boring. And we tell our employees in advance that we are trying to entertain our members and that some of the Netflix content is not going to appeal to them, so this kind of commitment to artistic expression and free artistic expression sometimes conflicts. with people who feel protected and safe.
The Hollywood Reporter also questioned Ted on handling the situation with LGBT employees at Netflix: “For the past few days, it’s just been listening to people and knowing how they feel and what they would like. I mean we are deeply committed to on-screen inclusion. ” With his statements, it is clear that Sarandos he understood a little late the problem he had gotten himself into and now wants to solve it, however, the permanence of The Closer at Netflix it might not leave company workers who have raised their voices alone; Although they do not ask to withdraw the special, Ted reports that the special Chappelle It contains a warning message at the beginning about strong language, in addition, it is classified for adults. The executive says he has the conviction to listen even more to his LGBT workers from now on.
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