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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.

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"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."

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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.

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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."

He continued:

"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."

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Dave Chappelle's Netflix special The Closer has riled the LGBT+ community over his disarming jokes about transgender people "punching down" on the heteros.

NBJC's David Johns (below left) and LGBT+ activists are calling on Netflix to pull the special off the air.

Chappelle's 5th Netflix special in 5 years debuted on Tuesday - and has generated backlash over his perceived hatred for trans people.

"Gender is a fact," said Chappelle, who confused gender for biological sex.

"Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact."

But critics pointed out that he dismissed C-sections, which make up about a third of all human births.

Chappelle, 48, also noted that "trans women's genitalia" is "not quite what it is."

LGBT+ activists went on the war path, calling for Netflix to pull Chappelle's special -- which Netflix declined to do the previous four times.

Chappelle defended embattled rapper DaBaby whose career is in ruins after his anti-LGBT+ comments at Rolling Loud in Miami.

Chappelle compared that incident to another involving DaBaby killing a man in self-defense in a Walmart in 2018.

"In our country, you can shoot and kill a ni**a, but you better not hurt a gay person's feelings," the comedian joked.

However, LGBT+ activists have had enough of Chappelle's jokes at their expense.

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David Johns, executive director of civil rights group the National Black Justice Coalition, asked Netflix to pull The Closer off the air.

"It is deeply disappointing that Netflix allowed Dave Chappelle's lazy and hostile transphobia and homophobia to air on its platform," Johns tells

"With 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States — the majority of whom are Black transgender people — Netflix should know better. Perpetuating transphobia perpetuates violence.

Netflix should immediately pull The Closer from its platform and directly apologize to the transgender community."

The LGBT+ advocacy group GLAAD Agreed.

Officials at GLAAD retweeted a post from HolyBullies, which read:

"I would suggest, Mr. Chappelle, that before you start on another one of your stupid routines about #LGBTQ people... google some names - Bayard Rustin, Monica Roberts, Barbara Jordan, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Angela Davis, James Baldwin, Audre Lorde."

The tweet referred to late Black gay and transgender rights activists, lesbians, and bisexuals.

If LGBT+ activists had watched Chappelle's special to the end, they would have heard him mention his close friend Daphne Dorman, a transgender comedian.

Dorman, 44, committed suicide shortly after Chappelle dropped Dorman's name in his 2019 Netflix special Sticks and Stones.

Dorman had stuck up for Chappelle who routinely tested his transgender material on Dorman before going onstage.

"I don't know what the trans community did for her," Chappelle said, "but I don't care, because I feel like she wasn't their tribe. She was mine. She was a comedian in her soul."

Chappelle surprised the audience by declaring he was hitting pause on LGBT+ jokes until he could be sure he and the LGBT+ community were all laughing together.

He said:

"I'm telling you, it's done. I'm done talking about it. All I ask of your community, with all humility: Will you please stop punching down on my people?"

Despite the backlash, Chappelle's new special has raced to the top 5 on Netflix's list of the most popular films and series on the platform in the U.S.

Dave Chappelle has asked Netflix to pull his popular "Chapelle's Show" from its lineup, and the comedian told fans not watch his streaming shows on any platform until he is paid.

Chappelle slammed Netflix and ViacomCBS for licensing the Comedy Central hit without paying him. confirmed the show's removal. Netflix licensed the show on a non-exclusive basis. The show also streams on HBO Max and ViacomCBS platforms like CBS All Access.

Deadline notes that companies license shows by paying the seller who, in turn, pays the artists.

But Chappelle is still waiting for his checks. He posted a video on Instagram titled "Unforgiven" in which he companied that he was not paid by Netflix or ViacomCBS.

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