Transparent whistleblower and creator join hundreds in angry walkout over Dave Chapelle’s anti-trans comments on Netflix

Netflix employees staged an angry walkout amid controversy over Dave Chappelle’s comment on trans and LGBTQ+ people in his comedy special.

Over 100 demonstrators attended a rally at the company’s headquarters in Los Angeles to present a “list of demands” to the streaming giant, including removing all images of Chapel from Netflix’s office and a new fund to develop trans and non-trans talent binaries.

Critics say Chappelle made a series of transphobic remarks and jokes in The closestincluding stating that “gender is a fact”.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos initially defended the special, which they reportedly paid $ 24.1 million for, to angry employees.

“While some employees disagree, we strongly believe that on-screen content does not translate directly into real-world damage,” he wrote in an email obtained by Variety.

“Adults can watch violence, assault, and abuse – or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy – without it causing them harm to others.”

Mr Sarandos later admitted he had “screwed up” trying to communicate his point of view.

Its co-managing director, Reed Hastings, also tried to defend the special on a company message board.

“I believe our commitment to artistic expression and the enjoyment of our members is the right long-term choice for Netflix, and we’re on the safe side, but only time will tell,” he said. .

B Pagels-Minor, the Netflix employee fired last week for allegedly leaking financial information about the comedy special, was among the group of protesters on Wednesday.

“I’ve compiled a dataset, I’m a data person, and I’ve shared it with a lot of people internally,” they told Deadline.

“If they want to fire me, they’re going to have to fire a lot of people. “

Transparent creator Joey Soloway was one of the speakers at the event.

“Trans people are in the middle of a Holocaust,” Soloway told the crowd before adding, “Misogyny is gender violence. “

They also asked a trans person to take their place on “the fucking Netflix board.”

David Huggard Jr, a competitor known as Eureka! on RuPaul’s Drag Race, “said those who enjoy the Chappelle special” to laugh at our pain “.

Filmmaker Ashlee Marie Preston, who organized Wednesday’s rally, said she contacted Chapelle but was turned down.

During the event, a Chapel supporter carrying a “Dave is funny” sign ran into protesters as he attempted to get to the front lines.

“We value our transgender colleagues and allies, and understand the profound harm that has been caused,” a Netflix spokesperson said before leaving.

“We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to step down and recognize that we have a lot more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.”

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