Netflix boss uses violent video games to defend Dave Chappelle’s transphobic joke
Netflix seems eager to defend Dave Chappelle and his transphobic jokes. The streaming giant is not alone, as hordes of keyboard warriors have joined in and played the “free speech” card. The actor himself justified his content by saying “If that’s how to be canceled, I love it!” Meanwhile, Netflix has suspended employees who criticized the show. In what is the latest incident in history, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended Chappelle by setting the example of violent video games.
“With The Closer, we understand that the concern is not about content that is offensive to some, but titles that could increase real-world damage (such as the further marginalization of already marginalized groups, hatred, violence, etc.) “Sarandos wrote in an email to Netflix employees which was obtained by Variety. “The strongest evidence to support this is that screen violence has increased tremendously over the past thirty years, especially with Part 1. [sic] shooting games, yet violent crime has declined dramatically in many countries. Adults can watch violence, assault, and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it causing them to hurt others. ”
The video game industry has long tried to debunk the garbage theory that violent video games incite violence. But as was the case with satanic panic in the ’80s or rock and roll after that, there really aren’t any convincing people out there who want to blame the world’s problems on something totally unrelated. However, Sarandos using the analogy to defend Chappelle’s jokes is not only a weak argument, but also weakens the argument that violent games do not incite violence.
There’s no denying that video games are violent, but that usually involves fictional or generic characters. Chappelle’s jokes did the opposite and targeted a group of marginalized people at a time when they are fighting for equal rights and recognition. There has always been a backlash when a video game did something similar, like GTA 5 for example.
In response to the ongoing issues, Netflix employees will hold a walkout on October 20 to protest the show and management’s handling of the following incidents. “Our leadership has shown us that they are not defending the values for which we are held,” read the announcement of the walkout. “Between the many emails and no replies that were given, we were explicitly told that we somehow couldn’t understand the nuance of some content. I don’t know about you, but asking us to show the whole story and not just the bits that hurt trans and [LGBTQ+] people is not an unreasonable request.
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