What just happened? During the height of the pandemic, it seemed like Netflix's star would never stop shining. But since then the company's share price has fallen from a high of $690 to just $195 today, something its CEO calls "horrifying, disappointing and embarrassing." He also addressed the Dave Chappelle controversy by comparing any potential canceling of the comedian with censorship in the Middle East.

April brought news that Netflix likely thought would never happen: for the first time in a decade, its overall number of subscribers was down, which the streamer blamed on everything from rivals like Disney+ to account sharing and the Russia/Ukraine conflict. The resulting share crash saw it lose $54 billion in a single day.

Netflix's shares have collapsed a further 75% since April's bombshell. In an interview with The New York Times, CEO Ted Sarandos called the situation "horrifying, disappointing and embarrassing" but added that the company needs to move on.

"We make decisions based on the best information we have at the time. They are not always going to be right, but how you help navigate the outcomes, and the urgency you bring to it, is what gets folks through the storm. And the storms will come," he said.

The CEO also talked about the controversy surrounding its Dave Chappelle Netflix special, The Closer, in which the comedian jokes about transgender people. Sarandos said that while he was surprised by the level of outrage it caused and the Netflix staff who walked out in protest, he did not agonize over whether to support Chappelle. Ricky Gervais has been embroiled in a similar situation over trans comments in his Netflix special. Sarandos said his views on Chappelle also apply to Gervais.

"I think it's very important to the American culture generally to have free expression," said the Netflix boss. "We're programming for a lot of diverse people who have different opinions and different tastes and different styles, and yet we're not making everything for everybody. We want something for everybody but everything's not going to be for everybody."

"I always said if we censor in the U.S., how are we going to defend our content in the Middle East?"

Despite the layoffs at Netflix and fan site Tudum, canceled shows, reports of consumers reaching peak subscription, and more long-term Netflix users abandoning the platform, Sarandos remains optimistic about the future. "We're 90 years behind all of our current competitors in what we do today, and they're just entering into our space," he said. "We have to have content that people like better on Netflix than anywhere else. I know it seems like it should be more complicated than that, but it almost isn't."