Hannah Gadsby slams Netflix boss over Dave Chappelle: ‘F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult’

Hannah Gadsby performs on stage during Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017

Queer comedian Hannah Gadsby slammed Netflix head Ted Sarandos after the co-CEO included her name in a written defence of Dave Chappelle.

Sarandos addressed escalating backlash against Chappelle’s anti-trans jokes in his latest special The Closer in a leaked internal memo. The Netflix boss stood by Chappelle’s special and claimed the streaming service is “working hard to ensure marginalised communities aren’t defined by a single story”.

Sarandos then trotted out several LGBT+ inclusive titles like Orange Is the New Black, Sex Education and the stand-up of Gadsby as proof of Netflix’s ethos.

But Gadsby wasn’t having any of it. She responded to the memo on Instagram, addressing Sarandos directly.

“Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess,” she wrote. “Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial world view.”


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A post shared by Dr. Hannah Gadsby (@hannah_gadsby)

She continued: “You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted.

“F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult…. I do s***s with more back bone than you.

“That’s just a joke! I definitely didn’t cross a line because you just told the world there isn’t one.”

The Emmy-winning comedian wrote in the post’s caption that she “watched the whole thing” and for people to “leave me alone”. She also included the hashtags #transisbeautiful, #comedyisdead and #ikilledit.

Several stars commended Gadsby for speaking out. Ruby Rose said the comedian is “incredibly special” and said she should “never change a damn f*****g thing”.

Australian actor Zoe Terakes commented: “Hannah. Well f*****g said.”

Dave Chappelle’s special has received major backlash after the special went online. In it, Chappelle defends DaBaby and JK Rowling before declaring himself as “team TERF”.

Sarandos previously defended the special in a leaked memo dated 11 October. In the memo, the Netflix boss told staff that “while some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm”.

Trans employees at Netflix are planning a company-wide walkout in response to the special. The walkout is scheduled for 20 October and is being organised by Netflix’s internal trans employee resource group.

Trans writer and showrunner Jaclyn Moore, who worked on Dear White People, quit her job at Netflix on 7 October. Moore declared she would not be working with the streaming service “as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content”.