Legendary comedian Dave Chappelle won a Grammy award on Sunday for best comedy album for his Netflix special “The Closer,” which sparked immense anger from leftists when it was released in October 2021.
Chappelle’s win marks the fourth time he has won a Grammy. He was not in attendance at the event.
Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. attempted to quell any potential backlash from leftists over Chappelle winning the award by noting that viewers are responsible for picking the winners.
“If the voters feel like a creator deserves a nomination, they’re going to vote for them,” he said. “We’re never going to be in the business of deciding someone’s moral position or where we evaluate them to be on the scale of morality. I think our job is to evaluate the art and the quality of the art. We can make sure that all of our spaces are safe and people don’t feel threatened by anyone. But as far as the nominations or the awards, we really let the voters make that decision.”
Chappelle’s Netflix performance enraged leftists and trans activists to the point where a transgender employee at the company allegedly organized a walkout in protest of the special. The company later fired the employee.
A former Netflix employee told The Verge that the company’s decision to fire the employee, who was not named, proved that “black trans people are the ones being targeted in this conversation.”
“We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company,” the company said in a statement confirming that it terminated the individual. “We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”
Netflix later released a new company culture memo that put employees on notice. A section in the memo called “Artistic Expression” stated that the company would not “censor specific artists or voices” even if employees consider the content “harmful.”
“If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you,” the memo states, later adding that employees may be required to work on projects that they “perceive to be harmful” and that if they have a hard time accepting their work assignment, they might want to consider working somewhere else.
“Entertaining the world is an amazing opportunity and also a challenge because viewers have very different tastes and points of view. So we offer a wide variety of TV shows and movies, some of which can be provocative,” the section reads, later adding, “we support the artistic expression of the creators we choose to work with” and that “we let viewers decide what’s appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.”