In an internal memo obtained and shared by Variety, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the criticism surrounding The Closer, stating the special wasn’t “designed to incite hate or violence.” Sarandos also shared his take on what he described as the measuring of “artistic freedom” in the stand-up medium. 

“It never feels good when people are hurting, especially our colleagues, so I wanted to give you some additional context,” Sarandos said. “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.”

On the same day the memo started making the rounds, however, we learned that a trans employee at Netflix had been suspended after sharing tweets about Chappelle’s special. Per the Verge, a Netflix rep said the employee wasn’t suspended for the tweets themselves. Instead, as clarified in a separate Variety report, a total of three employees were suspended after allegedly “crashing” a leadership meeting.