CNN  — 

Netflix is defending Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special after it has been criticized as transphobic by some LGBTQ+ advocates, artists and employees.

Chappelle’s special, “The Closer,” which debuted on Netflix last week, includes several minutes of jokes about trans people. The comedian says in the special he is “team TERF,” referencing the term for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.”

“Gender is a fact,” Chappelle says. “Every human being in this room, every human being on earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on earth. That is a fact.”

He talks about backlash he received after making jokes about Caitlyn Jenner and other trans people in previous specials, criticizes cancel culture around author JK Rowling and references his friendship with Daphne Dorman, a trans woman and fellow comedian who opened for him at one of his San Francisco shows. Dorman died by suicide in 2019, which Chappelle addresses in “The Closer.”

In an October 8 email to employees from Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and obtained by The Verge and Variety, the executive defended the special.

“Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line. I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries,” Sarandos wrote to staff. “Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”

CNN has not independently verified the email.