Chappelle has spent the past few months in a fog of bad press following the debut of his latest comedy special, “The Closer.” The special, which was released by Netflix on Oct. 5, includes derogatory jokes about the LGBTQ community and defends offensive comments made by “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and rapper DaBaby.
Bob-Waksberg, the creator of Netflix’s animated comedy series “BoJack Horseman,” addressed the fallout on Twitter Tuesday. In a series of tweets, he said he was “mystified” by Netflix’s decision to air Chappelle’s comedy “unedited.”
He also claimed that executives for the streaming service had once asked him to remove a joke from “BoJack Horseman” over concerns it would offend filmmaker David Fincher, who directed “House of Cards” and “Mindhunter.”
Later that afternoon, Bob-Waksberg said he had reviewed the scene in question and supported Netflix’s decision to remove it. “My point was it’s silly for a network to pretend their hands are tied when it comes to the content they put on their network,” he added.
Bob-Waksberg didn’t stop there, however. He then tweeted a link to Trans Lifeline, a transgender advocacy group, and said he would share the deleted joke if he could get at least 100 of his followers to donate to the organization.
After fans made a collective donation of more than $2,000, Bob-Waksberg posted screenshots of the script containing the Fincher joke, which turned out to be fairly benign.
He concluded the thread by noting that, in hindsight, the joke wasn’t especially funny and that the series “didn’t suffer without it.”
“BoJack Horseman” wrapped its six-season run in 2020. Representatives did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the scene or Bob-Waksberg’s remarks.
In spite of the controversy, Netflix has stood behind Chappelle, arguing that the comedian’s jokes in “The Closer” didn’t cross “the line on hate.” The fallout intensified in late October after it was reported that Netflix had fired B. Pagels Minor, an employee who helped organize a walkout in protest of the company’s support for Chappelle. Netflix, however, said Minor was dismissed for leaking confidential information.
That same week, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos admitted he had “screwed up” with his blanket defense of Chappelle, but said there were no plans to remove “The Closer.”
“We have articulated to our employees that there are going to be things you don’t like,” he told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. “There are going to be things that you might feel are harmful. But we are trying to entertain a world with varying tastes and varying sensibilities and various beliefs, and I think this special was consistent with that.”