An internal memo distributed to Netflix employees advises them that if they are offended by the streamer’s “content breadth,” they should quit.
The reference appears to be in response to Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special, “The Closer,” which prompted LGBTQ employees and supporters to walk out in protest over his anti-trans and homophobic jokes. At the time, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos sided with Chappelle and now he’s doubled down by telling employees that if anyone is going anywhere, it should be them.
As various outlets have reported, the Netflix Culture memo includes a new section called “Artistic Expression,” which declares the streamer will not “censor specific artists or voices” even if employees consider the content “harmful.”
“Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service,” the Artistic Expression section states. “While every title is different, we approach them based on the same set of principles: we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with; we program for a diversity of audiences and tastes; and we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.”
The section concludes that employees’ “personal values” about what they consider “harmful” will not be taken into consideration: “As employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values. Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you.”
Variety first reported this story.