Raphael Bob-Waksberg is still confounded by the whole Dave Chappelle impunity thing. On Tuesday, the BoJack Horseman creator — who knows a thing or two about making challenging, honest comedy for Netflix — tweeted that he’s still “mystified that apparently Dave Chapelle’s [sic] 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.”
Bob-Waksberg is referring to Ted Sarandos’s continued defense of keeping the transphobic material in Chappelle’s latest comedy special, The Closer. Bob-Waksberg clarifies in his next tweet that the Fincher scene Netflix asked him to cut was “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,” he added. Representatives for Bob-Waksberg did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The joke and scene in question were written for BoJack’s first season, years before Fincher’s Mindhunter debuted on the platform. Bob-Waksberg wrote that “if 100 people respond to this tweet with pics of donations they made today (any amount) to Trans Lifeline,” he’d share the censored Fincher scene. Six hours and “over $2,000” in donations later, Bob-Waksberg shared the script pages for the (pretty anticlimactic, nothing too crazy, extremely season-one vibes) scene, in which Fincher has a baby-shower gift and Princess Carolyn makes a tepid Seven reference:
Bob-Waksberg followed up with some final thoughts about Chappelle and network feedback, namely that good feedback makes good art. “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,” he tweeted.
It’s a take as clear-eyed and astute as a (post–season one) BoJack joke.