The Australian comedian, who became an international sensation starring in Netflix standup specials Nanette and Douglas, was not happy to be mentioned in Netflix co-CEO Sarandos' second memo doubling down on his defense of Dave Chappelle's The Closer after it was slammed for its transphobia. “Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess,” Gadsby wrote in a statement posted today to Instagram. “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 word view. 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*ck you and your amoral algorithm cult… I do sh*ts with more back bone than you. That’s just a joke! I definitely didn’t cross a line because there isn’t one." Sarandos wrote in his memo that "adults can watch violence, assault and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it causing them to harm others,” adding: "We are working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story. So we have Sex Education, Orange is the New Black, Control Z, Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself."
Ted Sarandos has a very narrow definition of "harm" by referring to first-party shooter games: "The strongest evidence to support this is that violence on screens has grown hugely over the last thirty years, especially with first party shooter games, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly in many countries," Sarandos wrote in his second memo defending Dave Chappelle's The Closer special. "Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse–or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy–without it causing them to harm others." As Gita Jackson points out, "the problem with this argument is that Sarandos seems to be focusing almost entirely on the idea that violence in first-person shooter video games translates directly to murders or mass shootings, of which there is no evidence. But this is an extraordinarily narrow definition of the word 'harm.' Even people who make video games would not argue that games cause no “harm” whatsoever. Given how much the industry has changed over the past 20 years, it feels clear that depending on your definition of harm, they absolutely do. Many first person shooters that I have played and enjoyed focus on getting you to fight non-human combatants, like the demons from hell in Doom or the various aliens in Destiny. But for a very long time (and still, today), the extremely popular genre of modern military shooters have players face off against other human beings. Often, these human beings are from the Middle East and are portrayed in explicitly negative ways. The lack of humanity given to these combatants was so pronounced that comedian Kumail Nanjiani pointed out in a stand up special that the developers of these games just put gibberish on the signs in the background rather than write them in the language these characters speak...'Harm' means a lot more than violence. Harm also doesn't just have to do with what people get out of a cultural product, but what goes into it. It can mean making outspoken women fear for their life; creating a culture so inhospitable to women of color that they have to write personal appeals to have characters like them in some of the most popular games on earth; abuses against your employees so egregious that your company is sued by the state of California; and turning the human rights of trans people into a debate."