Dave Chappelle is a comedian with stand-up comedy specials on Netflix. Hannah Gadsby is a comedian with stand-up comedy specials on Netflix. But Gadsby wants to make sure you and Netflix know that she’s not happy about Chappelle’s new special The Closer, and that the fact that she also has specials on Netflix is where the similarities between her and Chappelle end.
Hannah Gadsby posted an angry note directed at Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos earlier today, blasting him for using her name in regards to the current controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle. She added that Chappelle’s fans have unleashed a torrent of “hate speech” on her in the wake of the special; or what she calls “every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view.” She also refers to Netflix as a “cult” and tags the note cleverly in a way with which any Chappelle defender should be familiar. You can see the note below.
Presumably in response to the common Dave Chappelle defender refrain “did you watch the whole thing?”, Gadsby captions her note with, “Yes I watched the whole thing. Leave me alone.” She adds the tags, “#transisbeautiful #comedyisdead #ikilledit.”
As Deadline pointed out, Hannah Gadsby’s note isn’t just a response to the Dave Chappelle controversy, but to a leaked memo from Sarandos to Netflix staff on Wednesday. In the memo, Sarandos talks about the company making sure “marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story.” He lists a number of Netflix original programs like Orange is the New Black and Sex Education, and toward the end he mentions Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle side by side.
Hannah Gadsby is an Australian comedian who first rose to wider international prominence with the 2018 Netflix film version of her special Nanette, for which she won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special. More than purely a stand-up comedy special, Nanette eventually takes a very serious turn as Gadsby explores her history as a queer woman in a conservative environment as well as the sexual assault she suffered. It is not surprising that she would not be happy with her name being used in concert with Dave Chappelle’s.
Gadsby’s post is one more example of how the firestorm around Dave Chappelle’s new special is heating up. Hours ago, The Verge reported Netflix has fired one of the leaders of the trans resource group within the company that has been planning a company-wide walkout next Wednesday, October 20. The fired employee’s name has not been shared, but according to the report they are Black and pregnant. Another former employee who spoke to The Verge under condition of anonymity, pointed out what they saw as hypocrisy, saying that “white people are going around talking to the press and speaking publicly on Twitter,” and meanwhile, “the only person who gets fired is the Black person who was quiet the entire time.” Netflix confirmed the firing, saying that the employee had shared internal confidential information with outside sources.