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‘The Closer’: Chappelle, Netflix cancel culture content kerfuffle continues

Written By | Oct 21, 2021
Chappelle Netflix, The Closer

Dave Chappelle teaches biology. Satirical image based on “The Closer” via the Babylon Bee. Fair use in related article. See link to The Bee below article text.

WASHINGTON — The Chappelle Netflix controversy continues. As Wednesday’s latest corporate vs. wokist cancel culture content kerfuffle over “The Closer” boiled over at Netflix, Netflix management soon managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. That’s a typical cultural outcome these days. Rich and powerful corporate CEOs nationwide fold before such onslaughts staged by tiny but highly vocal and aggressive SJW minorities. These culture thugs know how to clog social networks with mass quantities of negative spam rapidly. It matters little that these loudmouthed SJWs don’t amount to even a tiny fraction of most large companies’ sales and profits. But fearing negative publicity, under today’s wokist sieges, CEOs routinely bail when threatened. This continues to make them easy marks for America’s growing minority of cancel culture PC fanatics.

Defending Netflix’s latest Dave Chappelle standup comedy special, “The Closer,” the streaming network’s CEO, Ted Sarandon, first defended Netflix’s alleged freedom of expression policy. He was trying to counter, in part, a cadre of militant woke employees threatening to stage a walkout over Chappelle’s politically incorrect stories and jokes. But not long after, the network, and Sarandon, later seemed to cave. The strike happened anyway, according to several media sources.

More on the cancel culture content kerfuffle staged by woke Netflix employees.

We covered both “The Closer” and Chappelle’s bravura performance in a lengthy earlier article. Thursday, CBS offered its latest summary of the action unfolding due to Netflix’s latest content-oriented brouhaha.

“The [Dave Chappelle] protest comes after extreme unrest at the streaming giant, with several employees and actors speaking out against Netflix and other employees claiming they were suspended for criticizing Chappelle’s special on social media. The company said none of its employees were terminated or reprimanded for their comments and maintains all employees are entitled to their own opinions.

“Chappelle’s special “The Closer” premiered on October 5 and featured several jokes focused on transgendered individuals.

“‘Gender is a fact. Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth,’ Chappelle said. The comedian also made several seemingly derogatory comments about the genitals of transgender women and said he previously punched a lesbian in a nightclub.

“The special drew intense criticism from the LGBTQ+ community, which accused the show of targeting transgender people and potentially inciting violence against the community. Netflix maintained that Chappelle’s words did not cross “the line on hate” and would remain available on the streaming service.

“‘We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused,’ a Netflix spokesperson told CBS Los Angeles. ‘We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognizes we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.'”

Dave Chappelle saga: Woke Netflix SJWs threaten walkout, CEO caves

That was the cave. And in case no one figured this out, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos donned the sackcloth and ashes to elaborate.

“Obviously, I screwed up that internal communication,” Sarandos told Variety. “I did that, and I screwed it up in two ways. First and foremost, I should have led with a lot more humanity. Meaning, I had a group of employees who were definitely feeling pain and hurt from a decision we made. And I think that needs to be acknowledged upfront before you get into the nuts and bolts of anything. I didn’t do that.”

However, it remains to be seen if Sarandos and/or Netflix ultimately decided to pull “The Closer” from its current offering list, even though the Chappelle routine remains among its biggest recent viewership successes.

Netflix stock may tell the real cancel culture story.

We can find one possible hint as to the show’s fate. Let’s take a look at the recent action in Netflix’s stock (NASDAQ: NFLX). Netflix shares tanked when news of the wokist employee cancel culture content kerfuffle exploded in the media earlier this week. The shares took a whopping 23 point dive Wednesday before recovering a couple of points near the close.  But today, as of 3 p.m. ET, NFLX shares have recovered that loss, and then some, currently standing at $652.53 per share. That’s an approximately 4.4% gain from Wednesday’s close, indicating that shareholders, at least, haven’t been fazed much by this latest irrational wokist threat. Perhaps the tide is turning against these loudmouth leftist bullies.

We’ll just have to watch and wait and see what Netflix does next. Chappelle’s fans still draw a large number of viewers to the streaming site. So it could prove a poor corporate decision to cut the company’s roster of Chappelle programs to placate a loudmouthed PC mob. Perpetual malcontents tend to have little influence on numbers like those Chappelle puts up. The streaming network should hold firm and keep “The Closer” available, despite the employee walkout and the company’s flip-flopping CEO. If they do, this could mark an important turning point in the battle between wokist PC Police and the rest of the country. Including many traditional liberals, we suspect.

However, if Netflix ultimately marches to the wokist tune, such cowardice will simply beg for other lists of unreasonable demands from the left, including even more censorship than the country currently endures. We’re not optimistic, given the current state of the cultural battlespace.

Investing in the Netflix bounce?

From an investment standpoint, we took a short position in NFLX shares near Wednesday’s close. We like the looks of this position today. From a market standpoint, it’s clear for now that Netflix investors aren’t much concerned. It seems that the company’s internal PC Police Force will cause much if any, damage to Netflix’s profitability in the coming quarters. Which could make Netflix shares a tempting investment again. We could be wrong, but it’s probably worth the ride.

Assuming they don’t cave into the wokist mobs and remove “The Closer.”

Image link: Humorous riff on the Dave Chappelle biology lesson in Netflix’s comedy special “The Closer.” Fair use, related article.



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Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17