Dave Chappelle to headline Netflix festival despite recent backlash

Despite widespread backlash following the comedian's transphobic special, Netflix has announced Dave Chappelle as the headliner for an upcoming festival.

Dave Chappelle on stage
Image: YouTube

Over the last two months, Netflix has been heavily criticised after repeatedly defending the latest comedy special of Dave Chappelle which gave platform to openly transphobic views.

Now, despite numerous complaints, a staff walkout, the resignation of a Trans employee and #CancelNetflix trending, the company has announced that Dave Chappelle will headline their upcoming comedy festival, “Netflix is a Joke: The Festival.”

The festival will take place in April and May in Los Angeles where, less than eight weeks ago, Trans staff, allies and members of the LGBTQ+ took to the streets to protest Chappelle’s space on the streaming platform for the #NetflixWalkout.

Following the release of the controversial and offensive special, staff raised their concerns at management level, which resulted in the circulation of a leaked office-wide memo.

“[Chappelle’s] last special Sticks & Stones, also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest and most award winning stand-up special to date,” the memo reads.

“As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful.

“Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow titles Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line.”

Terra Field, a Trans former-staffer of Netflix, resigned following the controversy during which she even faced a brief suspension.

“This isn’t how I thought things would end, but I am relieved to have closure,” she wrote in a public letter.

In the letter, she goes on to say that she sought advice from only B. Pagels-Minor, the pregnant, Black, Trans employee fired by Netflix for organising the staff walkout.

“Shortly after B. was fired for something I did not and do not believe they did, I made a decision: sink or swim, I was going to walk side by side with B. as they had for so many of us while they led the Trans* ERG,” Terra writes.

“Last week, B. had their son. They are both happy and healthy, and for me that is the note that I’d like this chapter of my life to end on. I want to focus on the joy, not the heartache.”

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