As usual, the Netflix critics claim that their goal is not to control speech but merely to enhance “safety,” which is supposedly diminished by Chappelle’s remarks.
Netflix co-CEOs Ted Sarandos and Reed Hastings have repeatedly defended Chappelle in internal communications to angry employees: “In his special, Chappelle makes harsh jokes about many different groups, which is his style and a reason his fans love his comedy and commentary,” Sarandos wrote. “Stand-up comedians often expose issues that are uncomfortable because the art by nature is highly provocative. As a leadership team, we do not believe that The Closer is intended to incite hatred or violence against anyone.”
Hear, hear. As a private corporation, Netflix is free to air or refuse to air material in accordance with whatever standards it deems appropriate. But free speech would not long survive if every private business could be bullied into a single orthodoxy by a small group of extremists. Only an extremist would be outraged by Chappelle’s carefully considered thoughts on transgenderism, and we find it heartening that in at least one case, at least one outfit in the entertainment business still has the courage to reject the activist Left’s increasingly ludicrous thought policing.