Earlier this month, Netflix released Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special, The Closer, and it successfully managed to trigger the woke cancel mob, who accused the comedian of being “transphobic” for some of the jokes about transgenders.
Last week, Netflix’s transgender employee resource group (ERG) announced that they were organising a walkout to protest Dave Chappelle’s stand-up special as well as Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ statement regarding the comedian’s show.
The walkout rally took place on Wednesday the 19th of October, which reportedly saw over 100 attendees that included protesters and allies showing their support for those allegedly affected by Chappelle’s jokes.
Filmmaker Ashlee Marie Preston, the person who organised the walkout in protest of the renowned comedian and Netflix, said at the rally that “Dave Chappelle doesn’t get to take the light from this moment.”
Joey Soloway, producer for Amazon Prime’s Transparent, went as far as saying that “Trans people are in the middle of a Holocaust,” adding, “Misogyny is gender violence” and called out Dave Chappelle directly, Deadline reports.
The outlet also reveals that Soloway demanded that Netflix places a trans person on “the Netflix f—ing board,” and reportedly planned “to call out board members if there is not a change towards ‘equity’ and ‘leadership options.'”
Organisers also read out a list of demands that will eventually be presented to Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, which include elimination of all imagery or references of Dave Chappelle inside the workplace as well as investment in “trans or non-binary content on Netflix comparable to our total investment in transphobic content.”
The full list of demands reads as follows:
Eliminate references/imagery of Chappelle inside of the workplace, including but not limited to murals, posters, room names, swag;
Acknowledgement that the special causes harm to the trans community and Netflix’s responsibility on it so we keep the conversation around transphobia evolving internally;
Trans and non-binary content investment
* A new fund to specifically develop trans and non-binary talent
*This fund should support both above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line (BTL) talent
*This fund should exist in addition to the existing Creative Equality Fund
Investment in trans or non-binary content on Netflix comparable to our total investment in transphobic content, including comparable investment in the promotion of content
The comparable class of investments should include but not be limited to works produced by Dave Chappelle (such as the investment in “The Closer” and “Sticks and Stones”), Ricky Gervais’ After Life, etc.
Investment in multiple trans creators to make both scripted and unscripted programs across genres;
Revisit internal processes on commissioning and/or releasing potential harmful content, involving numerous and diverse parties that can speak on its harm, including consultation on 3rd party venders;
Revisit the ERG role in conversations around potential harmful content and develop materials to ensure we have the best in class regional support on complicated diversity issues
Hire transgender content executives in leading positions and promote and inclusive environment for them;
Recruit trans people for leadership roles in the company (director, VP, etc) and promote and inclusive environment for them;
The ability for Trans* employees and allies to be able to remove themselves from company promotional content (e.g. allyship videos, etc.);
A disclaimer before The Closer specifically saying it contains transphobic language, misogyny, homophobia, and hate speech;
Boost promotion for Disclosure and other trans-affirming titles in the platform
The Netflix walkout got some support from woke Hollywood celebrities, who took to social media to raise awareness about the demands transgender employees are bringing forward.
Umbrella Academy actor Elliot Page, who in December officially came out as transgender, is one of the woke Hollywood celebrities that threw their support behind Netflix’s walkout in protest of Dave Chappelle’s comedy special.
“I stand with the trans, nonbinary, and BIPOC employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace,” Page tweeted.
“#NetflixWalkout If you’re not standing up for trans lives, you need to take a good look at who you ARE standing with. Good luck today everybody!” wrote Matrix series director Lilly Wachowski.
Comedian Billy Eichner wrote, “Sending my love and full support to all trans employees and their allies participating in the #NetflixWalkout today.”
Dear White People co-showrunner Jaclyn Moore, who had already heavily criticised Netflix for giving a platform to Dave Chappelle and producing his comedy specials, also took to social media to support the walkout.
“I stand with those participating in the #NetflixWalkout. I’m glad that after multiple dismissive statements Netflix is finally acknowledging they have work to do. I look forward to seeing how those words become actions,” wrote Moore.
GLAAD, who also took offence at Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special, shared a few tweets in support of the walkout rally.
“As the #NetflixWalkout and Stand in Solidarity rally begin, GLAAD stands with and thanks the Netflix employees, allies, and LGBTQ and Black advocates calling for accountability and change within Netflix and in the entertainment industry as a whole,” read a statement issued by GLAAD.
It continued, “The Netflix employees’ asks for long-term investment in content from trans, non-binary, and BIPOC creators, fully inclusive spaces for trans and LGBTQ BIPOC employees, and accountability when the causes harm, should be best practices for Netflix…”
“…and the entire industry as part of long overdue conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion,” the statement continued.
“Netflix now needs to take swift and strong action to address the calls for change from the community and their employees,” concluded the statement by the woke organisation.
“The #NetflixWalkout rally is happening tomorrow (wed 10/25) at 10:30am out front of the @Netflix offices 1341 Vine St,” wrote Connecting actress Shakina, reminding her followers in the area to attend the walkout.
She went on, “Show up for trans people, and let Netflix know we demand better representation in their company and on their platform. Thanks to @AshleeMPreston for organizing!”
Actress and stand-up comedian Wanda Sykes wrote, “Standing in solidarity with the Netflix employees speaking the truth to power today and sending my full love and support.”
Interestingly, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos initially supported Dave Chappelle and revealed that they would not be pulling the comedian’s special from the streaming platform, and has since bent the knee to the woke cancel culture mob.
“Obviously, I screwed up that internal communication,” said Sarandos in a Q&A with Variety, when asked about handling employee concerns regarding Dave Chappelle’s special.
He continued, “I did that, and I screwed it up in two ways. 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. I didn’t do that. That was uncharacteristic for me, and it was moving fast and we were trying to answer some really specific questions that were floating. We landed with some things that were much more blanket and matter-of-fact that are not at all accurate,” Sarandos further explained.
He added, “Of course storytelling has real impact in the real world. I reiterate that because it’s why I work here, it’s why we do what we do. That impact can be hugely positive, and it can be quite negative. So, I would have been better in that communication.”
When asked whether he believed Chappelle’s The Closer amounts to hate speech or not, Sarandos asserted, “Under the definition of ‘does it intend to cause physical harm?’ I do not believe it falls into hate speech,” adding that he doesn’t believe “there have been many calls to remove” the special.
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