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Netflix employees stage walkout, protest outside headquarters over Dave Chappelle special

Netflix employees are showing solidarity with the transgender community after the release of Dave Chappelle's "The Closer."

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Netflix employees stage walkout

Dave Chappelle’s “The Closer” series on Netflix has sparked outrage in the LGBTQ community, resulting in a protest Wednesday outside of the company’s headquarters.

Here’s the Buzz: 

LGBTQ community members, allies and Netflix employees say the comedy special is transphobic and harmful to transgender communities.

Hundreds attended the protest on Wednesday to show solidarity and their disapproval of Netflix’s decision to keep the special on the streaming platform.

“Understand that your jokes are promoting hateful and discriminatory behavior and conversation and that is what hurts us, that is what is hurting us. It’s not the fact that you laughed at it, it’s the fact that you’re laughing in the face of our pain,” said one demonstrator.

Several celebrities are also showing their support like Elliot Page, who starred in the Netflix Series Umbrella Academy. Page tweeted, “I stand with trans, non-binary and BIPOC Netflix employees fighting for better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace.”

Schitt’s Creek creator and star Dan Levy also tweeted showing his support, saying “I stand with every employee at Netflix using their voice to ensure a safe and supportive work environment. I’ve seen firsthand how vital television can be when it comes to influencing cultural conversation. That impact is real and works both ways: positively AND negatively. Transphobia is unacceptable and harmful. That isn’t a debate.”

In a recent interview, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos: Obviously, 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. We landed with some things that were much more blanket and matter-of-fact that are not at all accurate. 

Just last week Sarandos sent out an email to employees that read "While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm."

Other people took to the internet to support Chappelle's special, saying things like "I stand with Dave Chappelle and freedom of speech" and "Comedy is exactly that ... Comedy."

Celebrities like Damon Wayans supporting the comedian, reporting to TMZ "I feel like Dave freed the slaves. The comedians, we were slaves to PC [political correctness] culture and he just, you know as an artist he’s Van Gogh. Cut his ear off, he’s trying to tell us it’s OK."

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