S#!t is getting real.
Netflix employees aren’t letting the company nor Dave Chappelle off the hook. Today, according to TMZ, numerous employees led by organizer Ashlee Marie Preston took to the streets outside of their own office to protest what they describe as serious anti-trans offenses that the comedian committed in his new hour-long special The Closer.
Preston spoke to throngs of media who pulled up to Netflix HQ to cover the happenings. She said she invited Chappelle to have a conversation with them that would hopefully lead to an understanding but Chappelle did not respond to the invite. Preston also noted that Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos has acknowledged that a group of his employees hold a strong position on the matter, but not much else has been done to rectify the problem.
The walkout saw a great many Netflix employees holding signs saying “Black Trans Lives Matter” and “Black Trans Lives Are Not A Joke”. It should also come as no surprise that there is a contingent of Netflix employees who do not share these views and they are also outside engaging in an anti-protest protest with signs saying things like “Dave is funny” and “We like comedy”.
Fortunately, things have not gotten hostile to the point of violence or police presence but the tension was certainly high. It was reported earlier this week that Sarandos apologized for his cold and aloof response when the rumbling of dissension first began. He admitted to not leading his statement with humanity and empathy toward those who are hurt by Chappelle’s jokes. That said, he still says that The Closer will not be removed from the service nor does he believe that any hate speech was used.
The LGBTQ folks are clearly not going to let this go so it will be interesting to see what happens next. It’s safe to assume that a lot of media outlets including this one will be binge-watching this ongoing drama.