Though the partnership between Gadsby and Netflix previously produced acclaimed work — namely the 2018 standup special “Nanette” and its 2020 follow-up “Douglas” — Gadsby has been increasingly critical of the company’s business relationship with Dave Chappelle and his slew of recent streaming specials that many deemed transphobic. In late 2021, Gadsby called out the company’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos in an Instagram post that seemed to call their working relationship with Netflix into question.
“Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess,” Gadsby wrote. “Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle’s fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial worldview. You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult.”
Though the terms were not disclosed, Gadsby has signed a new deal with the streamer that will see them record a third standup special (presently untitled) from the Sydney Opera House. They will also host a new Netflix showcase of undiscovered comedians from the LGBTQ community.
“In an effort to further open a door that I had to fight to get through myself, I will curate and host a line-up show on Netflix featuring six new, gender-diverse comedians,” Gadsby said in a statement announcing the deal. “In a notoriously transphobic industry, I am looking to broaden the scope of opportunities for genderqueer performers from around the globe, as well as expand the diversity of offerings to audiences on one of comedy’s biggest platforms. Coupled with a mentorship initiative for these up-and-coming comics, the program aims to foster the professional development of a demographic that is still struggling to have their voices heard. Recorded in a single run in the UK in 2023, this will be a chance for the world to hear these voices for the first, but definitely not the last, time.”