Employees at Netflix have walked out of the streaming giant’s HQ in protest of the airing of Dave Chapelle’s latest comedy special.
Around a hundred people including Netflix employees and transgender activists were in attendance of the protest outside of the streaming company’s offices, the BBC reports.
They protested over Chapelle’s The Closer special, which activists say is harmful to the transgender community while expressing anger toward CEO, Ted Sarandos, and his response to their concerns.
Chapelle has been slammed for his The Closer special which sees him say that “gender is a fact” and that LGBTQ+ people are “too sensitive,” the Daily Mail reports.
Chapelle has reportedly been disregarding the backlash: “If this is what being canceled is about, I love it.
The protest reportedly comes following a leaked email that Sarandos sent to staff minimizing the transphobic concerns.
Sarandos said that “content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm,” while defending “artistic freedom.”
Sarandos has since apologized for the message as the outlet reports that in an interview with Deadline, Sarandos said he “screwed up the internal communication.”
“I should’ve made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made,” he added. “I respect them deeply, and I love the contribution they have at Netflix. They were hurting, and I should’ve recognized that first.”
Ashlee Marie Preston, who helped to organize the protest, said in a tweet prior to the protest: “This Wednesday, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos will be presented with firm asks/demands from Netflix employees that we will also be sharing with members of the press & rally attendees. Cross-cultural solidarity is an indomitable force that moves all of us forward. Come and join us.”
She also said in an interview with AFP news agency: “We are here today not because we don’t know how to take a joke. We’re here because we’re concerned that the jokes are taking lives.”
Have you watched The Closer?