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In recent years Netflix has gone through many changes. Of theses one of the most interesting is going form simply hosting television and movie content to producing their own shows. This Netflix created content has ranged wildly form documentaries to animated action shows. But of this vast array of choices it is the comedy special that remains the most popular. This may change however, with the most recent special by famed comedian Dave Chappelle noted for becoming highly controversial.
The special, entitled Dave Chapelle: Sticks and Stones, has come under the scrutiny of many critics. The focus of these criticisms where largely regarding the topics Chapelle decided to discuss in the special, such as the cases of sexual assault leveled at Michael Jackson or the LGBT community. Chapelle’s jokes where often seen as insensitive or unnecessarily cruel when discussing their subject matter. As a result of this many critics panned the series and tore it to shreds on online forms.
Surprisingly, the general audience has had the complete opposite reaction. Dave Chapelle’s show has received a ninety-nine percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. This indicates that the audience may be clued into a point of view mentioned in the article, that the offensive tone of the special was a strategic move on Mr. Chapelle’s part in an attempt to generate interest, in one form or another, in the several other specials he has upcoming. Another possibility is that this gauge of the audience’s opinion is misrepresented or exaggerated. Whatever the case may be, several experts both in comedian and media marketing mentioned in the article feel the critics view is unlikely to stop Chapelle from having more specials on Netflix, especially considering the host of other streaming services that would gladly Add him to their roster.
Considering the time, we live in and the content in the special, Netflix took a calculated risk in airing it. However, judging by audience reaction it has paid off. But it is worth noting that such gambles may not always pay off, and the resulting backlash could be catastrophic in the cut-throat world of streaming services.