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Netflix bosses are standing by comedian Dave Chappelle and his controversial new comedy special, "The Closer."

The streaming service defended its decision not to pull The Closer, and suspended an MtF trans employee who spoke out against it.

Co-CEO Ted Sarandos insisted he won't remove the hit comedy special, despite outrage from LGBT+ rights and transgender activists, who accused Chappelle of going too far.

A company source revealed that three Netflix employees have been suspended for crashing a quarterly directors meeting to complain, WENN.com reported.

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One of the suspended employees, Terra Field, a senior software engineer at Netflix, crashed a director-level meeting at the San Francisco headquarters to complain about The Closer.

Netflix invites 500 of its top employees to the annual meeting, however, Field's name was not on the invite list.

On Oct. 6, Field wrote a lengthy Twitter thread about The Closer and included transphobic tweets from other Twitter users.

Serandos told The Hollywood Reporter that Field and the other two employees were not suspended for speaking out on social media.

"It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show. Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly and we support their right to do so."

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Sarandos defended Chappelle and his new special in an internal memo to Netflix staff and talent:

"Some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.

"Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him... As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom - even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful, like Cuties, 365 Days, 13 Reasons Why or My Unorthodox Life.

Serandos continued:

"Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don't allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don't believe The Closer crosses that line. I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it's an important part of our content offering."

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Fellow comedian Damon Wayans praised Chappelle for freeing comedian "slaves."

"The comedians. We were slaves to PC culture," Wayans told TMZ. "As an artist, he's Van Gogh with his ear off. He's trying to tell us, 'It's okay.'"

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NeNe Leakes is sifting through private messages from young men after her husband Gregg Leakes died from colon cancer on Sept. 1.

The 53-year-old entrepreneur took to Instagram on Thursday to thank the young men who slid into her DMs.

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"Thank you to everybody. "All the gentlemen that have been in my DMs, thank y'all, too."

NeNe said, while the messages from potential suitors are "inspiring," she isn't on the market for a boytoy right now.

"I'm just over here doing me right now, but anyway, hey! I love reading the messages. They are inspiring to say the least. Thank you."

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NeNe is staying busy managing her Linnethia Lounge in Gwinnett County, Ga. and selling the couple's 6-bedroom, seven-bathroom house in the Sugarloaf Country Club.

The grieving widow listed the Mediterranean-style mansion last week for $4 million.

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According to public records, NeNe purchased the custom house in 2015 for $2.1 million. She put down $750,000 in cash and took out a mortgage loan for $1.3 million.

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She completely renovated the crib and slapped a new coat of paint on the exterior for a brand new look.
 

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Mariah Carey is "still mad" at Nick Cannon for the birthday gifts he bought their twins, Moroccan and Monroe.

Nick and Mariah, who divorced in 2016, had agreed not to buy Moroccan and Monroe cell phones when they first asked for the risky devices at age 8.

However, the media mogul went back on their "deal" to give the twins cell phones when they were older.

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"The Masked Singer" host asked Mariah if he could give the twins cell phones at age 10. But Mariah said no.

So Nick decided to give Roc and Roe the phones anyway when they turned 10 in April.

Speaking in a preview clip from his eponymous talk show, Nick - who has seven kids with four women - said:

"My oldest twins Roc and Roe wanted a cell phone at eight.

"I was all for it but Mariah was like, 'Uh-huh they aren't going to be Googling us, learning about all their new brothers and sisters, no we aren't playing.'

"I respected it at eight, but then we made a deal and said at 10 then they can have it, (but) Mariah still said no.

"So at 10, I snuck and I still got them the cell phones for their birthday."

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The star said he left the gift amongst other presents at the twins' "amazing" birthday party, knowing his ex-wife wouldn't be happy.

He laughingly continued:

"We had this amazing party with jump jumps, their friends came, it was so amazing. Then (when) it was time to open the gifts, I was like 'I'm going to leave these right here and tell your mama I'll be back.'

"Mariah is still mad at me till this day."

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Dave Chappelle is enjoying the controversy surrounding his latest Netflix special The Closer.

The comedian took the stage at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Thursday night for a screening of his documentary and addressed multiple petitions for his show to be pulled from Netflix.

"If this is what being canceled is about, I love it," he joked. "I don't know what to tell you, except I'm a bad motherf**ker.

"This is the kindness conspiracy," he said, before insisting Americans "have to trust one another."

Chappelle also reportedly said "F*ck Twitter," prompting applause from the crowd.

The funnyman, continued his personal war on transgender men and women throughout The Closer.

Chappelle, 48, clarified that he's not saying "trans women" aren't women. "I'm just saying that [the genitalia] that they got..." is "not quite what it is - is it?"
 

 
Chappelle has upset officials at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) once again with his remarks.

Amongst various comments, he sides with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who became a target of activists last year after offering up her controversial views on transgender women.

Despite the backlash, Chappelle's new special has raced to the top five on Netflix's list of the most popular films and series on the platform in the U.S.

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Jussie Smollett has apparently joined the growing coalition of LGBT+ celebrities who renounced their homosexuality.

Jussie was seen walking arm-in-arm with a mystery woman after having a romantic dinner at the Soho Grand Restaurant in Manhattan's Downtown area on October 2.

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Jussie and his date were spotted a day before rapper Lil Nas X appeared to renounce his homosexuality in a tweet on October 1.

Other notables who renounced their homosexuality include viral stars Antoine Dodson and Andrew Caldwell.

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Jussie came out publicly during an interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in 2016.

"It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet," he told Ellen.

"There's never been a closet that I've been in. I don't own a closet, I got a dresser, but I don't have a closet, but I have a home and that is my responsibility to protect that home."

He added:

"My mama knows, my mama likes me a lot and yes, I take her to 'The Sound of Music' sing-along every single year."

After a 2019 arrest for a hate crime hoax shook up his career, Jussie grew a beard and kept a low profile.

The 38-year-old former child actor is best known for his breakout role as Jamal Lyon on the FOX musical series Empire.


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Whoopi Goldberg has sworn off dating younger men after discovering one boyfriend had never heard of The Beatles.

The 65-year-old Sister Act star discussed her May-December relationships on The View on Wednesday. She explained why she stopped hanging out with youngsters.

"Let me tell you why I stopped doing lots of things with younger folks," she said.

"I went out with a younger dude and he said, 'I can't believe this... I did not know that Paul McCartney had another band'. And you kind of go, 'The Beatles? You've never heard of The Beatles?'

"You have to know when you're going younger, there's a lot of information that you have to impart. And sometimes it's tiring."

Whoopi Goldberg at the 90th Annual Academy Awards


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The Ghost star said she won't completely rule out dating men in their 30 or 40s, because she often finds them more attractive - and they know who The Beatles are.

"You're like, 'Yeah, you're younger, but you look good!'. So you never know. It depends on my mood. It's about the person.

"Sometimes you meet somebody who is younger than you and... look, it would be perfect if everybody was well-matched and well put together, but they're not. And you find it where you find it, and it may last a long time or it may not."

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Gabrielle Union dressed up as Janet Jackson to audition for a part in The Matrix - only to discover the real singer was also trying out for the role.

Gabrielle copied the "Control" singer's clothes, hair, and even her trademark mole, to give her an edge over the other hopefuls. But she was stunned when the real Janet Jackson walked in and sat down opposite her.

Gabrielle recalled her awkward encounter with the music icon, according to WENN.com.

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"Everyone and their mother was auditioning for The Matrix," she told The Late Late Show With James Corden.

"I went to audition (and) I needed to feel like the most powerful, beautiful and amazing woman in the world, so of course, I wanted to channel Janet Jackson," she said.

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"I go to Extensions Plus, which is, like, the Mecca of (hair) weaves. I wanted to get the good hair, the Janet hair, from the weave emporium. I literally find the exact outfit from her album cover. I draw in the damn mole. I fully committed. I play Janet the whole time, waiting for the audition, in there early. No one's going to stop me... (and) in walks Janet Jackson.

"The same audition, and I'm cosplaying as Janet, with a weird drawn-on mole. Neither of us got it. I think we canceled each other out."

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When the two stars crossed paths later at a Miami, Florida nightclub, Gabrielle wasn't sure she wanted to meet the singer after their embarrassing audition moment.

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However, the singer's then-boyfriend, Jermaine Dupri, told her Janet wanted to say hello, and the starstruck actress burst into tears.

"I'm bawling in the club, snot bubbles, the whole thing... but now she knows I'm a weirdo," Gabrielle recalled.

"I don't know what's about to happen, and I get there, and she jumps up and gives me a hug and says, 'I'm so proud of you...!' Now we're friends."

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Rachel Lindsay, left, claims ESPN host Sage Steele was "thrilled" when she didn't choose a Black man on ABC's "Bachelorette."

Lindsay made the remarks on the Higher Learning podcast with co-host, former TMZ staffer Van Lathan.

Lindsay, 36, hinted that Steele, 48, is a bourgeois biracial who is only Black when it's convenient for her.

Lindsay, who is Black, said the incident occurred about 4 years ago when she met Steele at ESPN. She said the encounter with Steele left her feeling like she was in the Twilight Zone.

"I like Sage," said Lindsay, adding that Steele is "problematic".

"She's a woman of color who had a long career in the media and I'm aspiring to this but then I'm listening to you and the first thing you say to me is how thrilled you are that I didn't choose Black. And I'm like… who is this woman?. Since then I've started to learn more about how problematic she can be."

Lindsay shared a video clip on Twitter. She captioned the video: "Y'all want to hear about the first time I met #SageSteele? #TrueStory."

Steele was temporarily suspended from ESPN's SportsCenter over comments she made about former President Barack Obama's race. She also disparaged ESPN's parent company Disney's vaccine mandate, calling it "sick" and "scary."

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Chris Rock (with his pal Dave Chappelle) made a surprise appearance at a New York jazz club to joke about his battle with COVID (watch video below).

Chris announced he had a breakthrough case of the virus last month.

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Chris stepped out in public for the first time with his daughter on Oct. 2.

Then on Tuesday, he showed up and turned a Robert Glasper residency at the Blue Note Jazz Club into an impromptu comedy set with Chappelle.

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"Yes! I'm back from the dead! I had COVID. I had motherf**king COVID. Goddamnit," said Chris. "It wasn't quite as hard as being black, but it was close... That's why everyone's trying to avoid it man."

According to one attendee, even Glasper had no idea the two comedians would be there.

"They just showed up unannounced, and introduced [Glasper]," the insider told Page Six.

The star-studded crowd included actors Jeffrey Wright, Hill Harper and rapper Talib Kweli.

After the show, Rock and Chappelle met up with Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, and Saturday Night Live star Michael Che, to celebrate Kweli's birthday, as well as Dave's new Netflix special, according to Page Six.
 

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Ray J is reportedly battling pneumonia in a Miami, Florida hospital. It isn't clear if Ray J is vaccinated against Covid-19.

The 40-year-old singer/actor announced his diagnosis in a statement to a social media blog on Tuesday.

"I been in here all by myself for a week," he told Hollywood Unlocked. "No family members came to see me, not even my wife."

Ray J said he can't have visitors due to the hospital's Covid-19 precautions.

"God is good. Family with me — just can't be n here too much sickness. I can't have visitors because they isolated they room — been on my [phone] with my family everyday all day."

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Last week, Ray J announced he is separated from his wife, Princess Love, again.

He scrubbed photos of his estranged wife from his Instagram page, and he captioned one post: "Separated and single."

Princess, 37, is best known for her recurring role on Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. Ray J and Princess share a daughter Melody Love Norwood, 3, and a 22-month-old son.

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Ray J is best known for dating reality star Kim Kardashian from 2003 until 2006. They went viral when their sex tape was leaked to the public.

Ray J's sister is R&B singer and actress Brandy Norwood.