Netflix producer Jaclyn Moore declared on Twitter she would no longer work with the streamer following its release of Dave Chappelle's comedy special "The Closer," which she argues included "transphobic comments."
Now, Moore is speaking up about why she finds the streamer more at fault than the comedian behind the controversial routine.
"I want to be clear that Dave Chappelle should be free to say whatever he wants and I should be free to say whatever I would like about him. Not to let Chappelle off the hook, but my bigger issue is with Netflix. This isn’t a live special. It was filmed, finished and people watched it and nobody said, ‘Hey, are we sure this is good? Are we sure this is OK? Are we sure this isn’t dangerous? What are the consequences of putting this out?’" she said in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Moore served as executive producer and showrunner of "Dear White People" and worked with the streamer for four years. On Twitter this week, she claimed watching Chappelle's special pushed her to refrain from working for Netflix "as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content." She also said she told the story of her transition for the streamer's pride week.
Moore said after tuning into "The Closer," which was released on Netflix on Tuesday, it's "really hard" for her to stand behind words she said during its Pride week, which was that the company "cares about us and our community."
"As I posted, I have worked with so many people at Netflix who are brilliant, lovely, kind, caring and want nothing more than to do the right thing. So, I don’t know who [approved it], but what I do know is that there aren’t enough trans people in these spaces because a trans person would have said, ‘Are we aware of the implications?’" she explained.
Having produced a Netflix show, Moore said the feedback process at Netflix involves the network flagging and questioning its content. However, she is unsure "how it works in stand-up."
Ultimately, she's blaming the streamer for allowing not just this latest installment but several more of his stand-up routines to feature controversial comments about the trans community.
"The problem in Chappelle’s case is that he’s now done this in something like five specials in a row with increasing hostility. Netflix keeps paying for these specials. It’s hard to feel like the financial upside outweighed the rest. I’m not saying that’s what they think but that’s the message that’s received when this happens. So, I tweeted about my decision because I felt like I had to," Moore explained.
"There aren’t many trans showrunners in this business. It’s a shortlist who have done this job and I’ve done this job at Netflix on a show that talks about queer issues, race and a host of other topics. I felt I had to say something, especially because I had put myself out there previously to promote Netflix as an inclusive place."
Moore confirmed she's since had a "lovely conversation" with someone from Netflix since firing off her tweet in declaration of no longer working for the streamer.
"Someone called to hear my side of things and they wanted to let me know that they see me and see what I’m doing and they wanted to keep an open line of dialogue. I really appreciate that; it was a standup move by that person. I don’t know what the internal politics are there about this or any of it but I do want to say that I worked with many people at Netflix who are some of the most empathetic and caring folks I’ve worked with in this business. There is a difference between the corporate decisions and whatever happens as an entity versus the people who exist within it," she said.
Moore said she's not pitching any new projects she's working on to Netflix "for the time being."
"I don’t know what it will take to change that. I didn’t do it as an ultimatum like, ‘If you don’t do it by this date, then…’ I just can’t in good conscience do business there right now. It’s a difficult question because I don’t know the right answer. I don’t know if it’s to supplement the specials, to add disclaimers or edits, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s my job to fix their problem but I will say they do have a problem, which is their platform is promoting dangerous rhetoric from someone who says they are a TERF, who mocks the idea of my existence and compares what I do to Blackface," she added.
A representative for Netflix told Fox Business the streaming service has no comment on the matter.
On Thursday night, Chappelle laughed off any efforts to get him and "The Closer" canceled. The 48-year-old performer took the stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles for a screening of his documentary.
"If this is what being canceled is about, I love it," Chappelle said to hoots and hollers from fans in attendance, per the Deadline. He added: "I don’t know what to tell you, except I’m a bad motherf---er."
In his special, Chappelle seemingly defended "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling's past controversial comments about the transgender community.
"They canceled J.K. Rowling – my God," Chappelle says. "Effectively, she said gender was a fact, the trans community got mad as (expletive), they started calling her a TERF."
"I'm Team TERF. I agree. I agree, man. Gender is a fact," Chappelle added (via USA Today). "TERF" stands for "trans-exclusionary radical feminist" and is essentially a term for people who call themselves feminists while still being transphobic.
Moore isn't the only one whose blasted "The Closer." GLAAD issued a statement on its Twitter account, writing, "Dave Chappelle's brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities. Negative reviews and viewers loudly condemning his latest special is a message to the industry that audiences don't support platforming anti-LGBTQ diatribes. We agree."
"With 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States — the majority of whom are Black transgender people — Netflix should know better," NBJC executive director David Johns said in a statement to Deadline. "Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence. Netflix should immediately pull ‘The Closer’ from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community."
Also in the special, Chappelle discusses the recent backlash that rapper DaBaby received after making homophobic comments at a recent Miami-area music festival about people with HIV/AIDS. He was forced to make several apologies as criticism led to him being dropped from the Lollapalooza lineup.
Representatives for Chappelle did not immediately return Fox Business' requests for comment.