BoJack Horseman Creator Takes On Netflix Over Chappelle for Good Cause

If there's anyone who's earned the streaming street cred to wade into the Dave Chappelle/Netflix controversy, it would be Raphael Bob-Waksberg, the creator of BoJack Horseman (the show that forced the streamer to rewrite their rules when it comes to its Originals). And that's exactly what he did on Tuesday night, taking to Twitter to call into question Netflix's apparent hands-off approach when it came to editing Chappelle's stand-up special when (as he tweets) "Netflix once asked me to change a joke because they were worried it might upset David Fincher [Netflix's 'House of Cards' & 'Mindhunter']." From there, Bob-Waksberg offered to share the scene with the Twitterverse if 100 people donated to Trans Lifeline (which you can donate to here) and shared proof. After hitting the mark and more than $2000 in donations, Bob-Waksberg kept his promise and shared the scene in question. Here's a look at how the discussion went down, beginning with his initial thoughts on Netflix's apparent double standard.

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BoJack Horseman / Dave Chappelle (Images: Netflix)

"Still mystified that apparently, Dave Chapelle's deal is that he says whatever he wants and Netflix just has to air it, unedited. Is that normal, for comedians? Because Netflix once asked me to change a joke because they were worried it might upset David Fincher. Just looked up the cut Fincher joke because I actually couldn't remember it. Turns out it was a whole scene! Netflix was right to note, it's a dumb scene. My point was it's silly for a network to pretend their hands are tied when it comes to the content they put on their network. But if people want to see the controversial cut David Fincher bit from season one, I'll share it here if 100 people respond to this tweet with pics of donations they made today (any amount) to Trans Lifeline."

Bob-Waksberg then offered an update, followed by a breakdown of the scene with added context to light the fires a bit: "THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO'S DONATED SO FAR! We are halfway there! Here's some info on the scene to get you excited: it was originally written for episode 107, "Say Anything." It was early in the show's run and we were still getting out some kinks as far as tone and process. CONTEXT: amidst Princess Carolyn's busy day of agency mergers and projects falling apart, PC has ALSO been recruited by Brenda to organize a baby shower for Kristin. (Who are Brenda and Kristin? Apparently Princess Carolyn's friends who would have surely become fan favorites). Can Princess Carolyn go to the baby shower and ALSO find a cool director for her new project? And might that cool director be someone who happened to be concurrently producing a different show with Netflix?! Only fifty more donations to find out!"

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From there, Bob-Waksberg offered some final thoughts on the double-edged sword that network feedback can be before also questioning Chappelle's fans and peers for pushing back against the idea that "comedians have no responsibility to not Make Things Worse" by reminding them that it was Chappelle's own concerns about making societal situations worse than prompted his walking away from Comedy Central: "Here are my last thoughts on this before I turn off this hell machine for the night: 1) Good pushback and feedback (if it's good!) make art better and if you as a network don't know how to give it, you might as well be throwing your money down the toilet. 2) For a comedian who famously walked away from his hit TV show because he was worried he was Making Things Worse, it's remarkable how many of his fans (and collaborators!) believe comedians have no responsibility to not Make Things Worse." Here's a look at the beginning of the BoJack Horseman creator's tweet:

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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