Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings Won't Talk About Dave Chappelle Controversy

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday October 20, 2021

Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings
Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings  (Source:Twitter / @reedhastings)

Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings does not want to talk about the company's ongoing controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle's comedy special "The Closer."

Appearing on a panel about philanthropy at the Milken Global Conference, moderator and CNBC correspondent Julia Boorstin made it known that she was unable to ask him about Chappelle or the company's earnings, reported Deadline.

"All philanthropy today," Hastings said. "It's a no comment, we are really focused today on what we can do for kids around the country."

Hastings did, albeit vaguely, discuss the company's strategy of entertainment disruption. He lamented about education that he "wished education was as easy to disrupt as it was easy to disrupt entertainment... turns out taking on Disney and others is easier than disrupting education."

"All the problems we have today are problems our parents and grandparents couldn't fix," said Hastings, a former teacher, connecting education to philanthropy.

Although Hastings was tight-lipped at the conference, he reportedly shared his views on the Chappelle's debacle in an internal company message board about Netflix being on the "wrong" side of combating hate speech.

"To your macro question on being on the right side of history, we will always continue to reflect on the tensions between freedom and safety," Hastings wrote. "I do believe that our commitment to artistic expression and pleasing our members is the right long-term choice for Netflix, and that we are on the right side, but only time will tell."

Indeed, time will tell. Netflix employees are reportedly planning a walkout over the matter Oct. 20.