Netflix In Dave Chappelle Turmoil
This past week, the company that made binge-watching a habit and streaming content mainstream faced an internal revolt that spilled into the public domain, all due to a comedy special hosted by comedian Dave Chappelle.
Employees at Netflix were incensed that the streaming service chose to stream Chappelle’s latest comedy special, The Closer, in which he makes controversial comments about that the transgender community.
Employees and several organizations have accused Chappelle of being transphobic and are accusing the company of siding with the controversial talent instead of showing support to the LGBTQ community.
Things got so tense that some employees stormed into a virtual executive meeting — resulting in suspensions and the reinstatement of those suspended. While another employee leaked out sensitive financial data about the comedy special, which led to the said employee losing their job. A walkout by Netflix employees is also planned for this week.
Employees have said that Chappelle’s comments could lead to an increase in violence against the transgender community. Netflix’s executives have pushed back against such a claim, saying that “Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse — or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy — without it causing them to harm others.”
The Closer has been extremely popular with viewers on Netflix, scoring a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and it’s because of scores like that Netflix believes that it’s right to back its talent when it comes to artistic freedoms. Also worth noting that Chappelle and Netflix in 2016 signed a multi-year content deal, so this partnership has been mutually beneficial to both parties.
Netflix has been growing at a fast rate and has largely stayed out of major controversy during its existence. Due to its streaming dominance and the fact it’s viewed more as an entertainment company than a tech company, it will face even more scrutiny about what it shows and who it supports.
(New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Rotten Tomatoes)
Adam Schefter’s Questionable Practices
Adam Schefter is ESPN’s premier NFL beat reporter breaking news about player and team moves. This week it was revealed that Schefter and his ability to break the news might be due to his close, buddy, buddy-type relationship with NFL front office execs. As part of an NFL investigation into Washington Football Team’s office culture in 2011, Schefter’s name came up as emails showed he emailed a pre-published story to WFT team president Bruce Allen for his approval. He called Allen “Mr. Editor.” What Schefter did is a journalistic no, no as no journalist should provide to their source/s a pre-published story seeking their approval. This is something Schefter somewhat acknowledged in his apology. (Deadline and ESPN PR/Twitter)
George Stephanopoulos Launches A Production Company
ABC News’ George Stephanapolous, who is part of the Good Morning America anchor team, has launched a production company, George Stephanopoulos Productions, that sees him producing long-form unscripted productions. This new company is under the ABC News umbrella and sees Stephanapolous providing content exclusively for Walt Disney properties that include ABC, Hulu, Nat Geo, FX, and Disney Plus. First up are two long-form productions that will be featured exclusively on Hulu — An interview with former British spy Christopher Steele and a docu-series titled The Informant: Fear and Faith in the Heartland. (TVNewser)
Squid Game Has Been A Boon For Netflix
As Netflix receives heat for its Chappelle documentary, the streaming service is at the same time toasting the success of one of its TV series. Netflix says that Squid Game is “its biggest series launch ever” as 111 million accounts have viewed it since it debuted on September 17. That record was previously held by Bridgerton which was viewed by 82 million households in just 28 days. The South Korean series is the first show to debut at number one in its U.S Top 10 list, and it’s also number one in 93 other countries. The series has been so successful for Netflix that leaked internal documents show that Squid Game will generate $891 in value. The buzz around Squid Game and Netflix’s strategy on focusing on global content shows it is still the streaming service to beat. (CNN and Variety)
College football sideline reporter Allison Williams leaves ESPN due to Covid-19 vaccine mandates. (Awful Announcing)
Ceaser’s Sportsbook is looking to steal Adam Schefter away from ESPN. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NHL Network is looking to upgrade its experience. (Sports Video Group/Twitter)
CNN Plus begins its marketing push. (Variety)
Netflix buys another movie theater. (The Hollywood Reporter)
CNN’s Kasie Hunt disclosed that she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. (TVNewser)
What’s in store for Jason Kilar after the WarnerMedia/Discovery merger completes? (Observer)
David Zaslav gets the puff piece story treatment ahead of the WarnerMedia/Discovery merger. (Vanity Fair)
CNBC updates its San Francisco studio. (Newscaststudio)
Netflix believes its content does not bring any harm. (Vice)
Newsmax opens up a Middle East bureau. (TVNewser)
Alexis McAdams and Brittany Garzillo join Fox News as New York-based correspondents. (TVNewser)
Netflix is launching a virtual book club. (Tubefilter)
Fox News Books and HarperCollins sign a new deal. (TVNewser)
Netflix launches Palestinian film collection. (Reuters)
Disney nabs broadcast rights to the NFL’s Wildcard Monday Night Football game. (ESPN Press Room)
Check out Turner Sports’ studio for its NHL coverage. (Sports Video Group)
This is what ESPN is doing for its first week of NBA action. (ESPN Press Room)
Is CNN doing positive PR for the UAE? (Responsible Statecraft)
Scripps National Spelling Bee moves from ESPN to Ion/Bounce. (The Streamable)
An Insight to Newsy’s rebrand. (NewscastStudio)
ESPN’s Sage Steele is back on the air. (Michael McCarthy/Twitter)
CBS Mornings switches its music. (NewscastStudio)
Disney Plus is predicted to overtake Netflix. (New York Post)
CNN’s DC teams win RTCA Capital Hill’s David Bloom Award. (CNN Press Room/Twitter)
Liz Aleese was named executive producer and director of ABC Audio podcast programming. (ABC News Public Relations)
Discovery Plus is set to launch in Canada on October 19. (The Streamable)
Muriel Pearson was named by ABC News executive producer of special projects and long-form series. (TVNewser)
Is Disney looking to get rid of ESPN? (Awful Announcing)
NBC News and MSNBC win LA Press Club honors. (NBC News PR/Twitter)
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A MarkHenry Media LLC publication - Issue #66 - 2021