Hannah Gadsby has entered a multi-title deal at Netflix, under which they will tape their a new stand-up special for the streamer, in addition to hosting and producing another multi-comic special featuring gender-diverse comedians.
Gadsby’s new hour-long special will premiere in 2023 and comes from the Australian leg of their most recently world tour, titled “Body of Work.” Taped at the Sydney Opera House with assistance from the Sydney Opera House trust, it will be Gadsby’s third piece of stand-up comedy for Netflix, following on the specials “Nanette” — which became a phenomenon in 2018 — and “Douglas” from 2020.
The multi-comic special will be taped next year, with premiere timing yet to be announced. Along with spotlighting performers of various gender identities, the cast will also be chosen from several countries.
“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 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.”
Gadsby’s return to Netflix and their mention of the “notoriously transphobic” industry of comedy are significant, given their outspoken response last year about the streamer’s support of Dave Chappelle, whose special “The Closer” included offensive jokes about queer and trans people.
In a memo sent to staffers addressing the fallout, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos pointed to Gadsby’s work as an example of the company’s support of queer people and diverse perspectives, saying, “We are working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren’t defined by a single story. So we have ‘Sex Education,’ ‘Orange is the New Black,’ ‘Control Z,’ Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself.” (Sarandos later apologized for his sentiments in the memo, especially for saying that “content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”)
After the memo appeared in the press, Gadsby responded via Instagram: “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. 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 word view.”
“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,” the post continues. “Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult … I do shits with more back bone than you. That’s just a joke! I definitely didn’t cross a line because there isn’t one.”