May 17, 2022

Leaked Netflix memo tells employees how to discuss Dave Chappelle controversy

A memo from Netflix to its recruiters, instructing them on how to discuss the fall-out from Dave Chappelle’s controversial comedy The Closer, has been leaked.

Netflix and Chappelle have come under heavy criticism since the release of the special, with many labelling it “transphobic”.

Chappelle’s comments that he is “team TERF” (which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist) in particular drew backlash and led to Netflix employees organising a walkout in protest.

Netflix boss, Ted Sarandos, defended Chappelle, saying in a message to staff: “We have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”

Employees at the streaming giant staged a walkout on 20 October and joined a rally at Netflix offices in Los Angeles.

Netflix fired an organiser of the walkout for “sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company”.

According toThe Verge, recruiters for Netflix were sent a memo that offered a guide on what to say to potential new hires who ask about the company’s decision to back the comedian.

The publication reports that the memo emphasises it is merely offering its recruiters suggestions on how to deal with the questions rather than providing a mandatory script.


It tells them to use their “best judgement” and avoid talking about the controversy, encouraging them to reiterate Netflix’s previously released statement.

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“Find a way to respectfully end and move on from the topic if you’re pressed further on the topic in areas not covered in the talking points,” the memo says, according to The Verge.

The Independent has contacted Netflix for comment.

Last month, Netflix announced that Chappelle will take part in a new 11-day stand-up comedy festival called Netflix is a Joke: The Festival.

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