Employees at Netflix on October 20 staged a walkout protest in front of the Company’s building in California, US. They were expressing their displeasure at the Company’s decision to stream comedian Dave Chapelle’s latest stand-up act, The Closer.
The comedy special, according to the protesting employees, ridiculed the transgender community. The protest, which the employees aptly called ‘Stand-Up in Solidarity’, also attracted non-Netflix employees, who joined the rally and supported the walkout. It is trending on twitter with #Netflixwalkout and multiple celebrities have backed the employees.
The New York Times reported that in addition to the employees holding the demonstrations physically, several other employees working from remote locations also switched off their work desks at noon and discontinued work for the day to show solidarity to their colleagues hosting the rally outside the office of the company.
The protesters reportedly held signs saying, ‘Hey Netflix: Do Better’ and ‘Transphobia is not a Joke.’
Uproar against the controversial comic’s jokes around the LGBTQ was earlier responded to by Ted Sarandos, CEO, Netflix, on October 8. In an internal e-mail, Sarandos had communicated that the Company will not be taking down the special; that he did not feel the special crossed any lines, in his opinion.
Sarandos’ mail further agitated the employees, who considered the special offensive. Sarandos later did admit to Variety, that he should have handled the criticism of the show in a better way.
The protestors were interested to know what and how Sarandos would have actually done better.