Ted Sarandos apologized for internal memos to his staff about Dave Chappelle ahead of a planned walkout by 1,000 Netflix employees on Wednesday, Oct. 20.
Sarandos previously insisted he wouldn't remove Chappelle's hit comedy special, The Closer, despite outrage from transgender employees over Chappelle's transgender jokes.
"I can tell you I screwed up those two communications, but my stance hasn't changed," the Netflix co-CEO said in a phone interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Sarandos said he should have acknowledged that "a group of our employees were in pain" and "hurt" by the company's decision to air the special.
"I'd say those emails lacked humanity, in which I like to and I do generally communicate with our teams," said Sarandos who is married to Nicole Avant, former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas.
"...this is the problem when you have a leaked email out of context, is it's part of a conversation already in progress, and that line of causing harm in the real world was way over simplistic and talking about something very specific that we were talking about earlier that day."
Sarandos reiterated that Chappelle's comedy special - for which the comedian was paid $24.1 million - was in line with Netflix's stringent policy on harmful content.
The Netflix chief (right) said he didn't think it would be "appropriate" for him to add a disclaimer about harmful content before airing Chappelle's special.
"The content is age restricted already for language, and Dave himself gives a very explicit warning at the beginning of the show, so I don't think it would be appropriate in this case."
"But I do think that the inclusion of the special on Netflix is consistent with our comedy offering, it's consistent with Dave Chappelle's comedy brand and this is ... one of those times when there's something on Netflix that you're not going to like."