LOS ANGELES (NewsNation Now) — Netflix employees staged a walkout Oct. 20 in protest of the streaming giant’s decision to release Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special “The Closer,” citing its treatment of those who are transgender.
A group of employees calling itself Team Trans* held a rally outside Netflix’s 13-story Sunset Boulevard offices in Los Angeles, where activists, public figures and other supporters plan to present co-CEO Ted Sarandos with a “list of asks.”
“We shouldn’t have to show up quarterly/annually to push back against harmful content that negatively impacts vulnerable communities,” organizer Ashlee Marie Preston wrote in a social media post. “Instead, we aim to use this moment to shift the social ecology around what Netflix leadership deems ethical entertainment.”
Controversy brewed within the company after Sarandos initially defended Chapelle. In an internal company email, Sarandos said the company wouldn’t take down the special because the content does not translate into real-world harm.
Now, Sarandos has walked back those comments, saying he “screwed up.”
“Obviously, I screwed up that internal communication,” he said in an interview with Deadline. “First and foremost, I should have led with a lot more humanity. Meaning, I had a group of employees who were definitely feeling pain and hurt from a decision we made. And I think that needs to be acknowledged up front before you get into the nuts and bolts of anything.”
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