Netflix Under Protestors Fire Over Dave Chappelle’s “Transphobic” Comments

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Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) is feeling the heat after approximately 65 transgender community supporters –including Netflix employees– demonstrated outside the company’s premises in Los Angeles on Wednesday. They claim that Dave Chappelle’s comedy special aired on the platform mocks transgender people.

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“Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist”

As reported by CNN, employees “began streaming out of the building at 10:30a PT in protest of Dave Chappelle's ‘The Closer’ comedy special, which has been criticized as transphobic by the transgender community and others.”

Protesters voiced their discontent at the comedian himself and how the streaming platform has dealt with the polemic around his comments. Demonstrator Bridget Sampson said: “What comedians say in a comedy show does matter and it does have real-world consequences.”

“I didn't have a problem with most of his humor but to say gender is real and to align with TERFs, (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist) who want to deny the reality and existence of transgender people being the gender that they truly are in their mind and heart is very, very harmful.”

Demonstrating on behalf of Netflix employees, Matthew Brough said: “Everyone should have a voice, I believe in free speech but I also believe that words are harmful –words can lead to violence.”

“This is not only about people's feelings getting hurt or political correctness, this is about the threats of violence that people in the trans community face every single day.”

“Aware Of The Situation”

Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of the streaming giant, admitted to mishandling initial criticism of the show by telling Variety on Tuesday: “I screwed up that internal communication… 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 upfront 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.”

The platform aired the first episode of the Chappelle special on October 5, and since then Sarandos had acknowledged the comedian’s provoking tone via internal emails obtained by Variety.

Netflix is part of the Entrepreneur Index, which tracks 60 of the largest publicly traded companies managed by their founders or their founders’ families.