About 65 demonstrators, including Netflix employees and supporters of the transgender community, protested outside of the company’s offices in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” comedy special, now available on the streaming service, has been criticized as transphobic by the transgender community and others.
Protesters expressed their disappointment in Chappelle and the way Netflix has handled the controversy surrounding comments in his show.
“What comedians say in a comedy show does matter and it does have real-world consequences,” said one of the protesters.
Netflix employees and organizers calling themselves Team Trans* are asking for more trans and non-binary individuals in executive-level positions at Netflix and want the company to create a fund to support trans and non-binary talent, according to The Verge.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos has not addressed the demonstration but did tell Variety in an interview published Tuesday that he “screwed up” when it came to how he has handled criticism of the special.
Bosses at Netflix have defended the Chappelle special calling it artistic freedom and said the special didn’t cross the line to incite violence.
“We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company,” a Netflix spokesperson said.