The comments come as some Netflix employees plan a walkout because of the company’s decision to stream Chappelle’s special — and an internal communication that some felt dismissed the staff’s concerns.
“With ‘The Closer,’ we understand that the concern is not about offensive-to-some content but titles which could increase real world harm (such as further marginalizing already marginalized groups, hate, violence etc.),” Sarandos wrote. “While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”
Now, Sarandos told Variety, “of course storytelling has real impact in the real world” and that he would’ve “been better in that communication.”
“They were joining a conversation already in progress, but out of context,” he told the trade publication. “But that happens, internal emails go out. In all my communications I should lean into the humanity up front and not make a blanket statement that could land very differently than it was intended.”
Despite the controversy, Sarandos continued to express support for Chappelle and the special. He said that he’s been in touch with Chapelle a “few times” since the special was released. Sarandos also added that he does not believe the special “falls into hate speech” and it won’t be removed from the platform.