At the Netflix streaming service office in Los Angeles, some hundred people demonstrated yesterday. Among the protesters were a large group of transgender people. They‘re upset about how Netflix has handled statements by comedian Dave Chappelle in a show.
Chappelle made jokes about the genitals of transgender persons on the show The Closer. He also said that the transgender community has “too little calluses on the soul”. Netflix boss Ted Sarandos said to stay behind the show at first and refused to take it offline as no boundaries had been crossed in his eyes.
One of the protesters said such jokes promote ‘discriminatory behavior‘:
But the protesters think The Closer should be removed from the streaming service. They received support from Netflix employees and had signs with them with lyrics like “Trans Lives Matter” and “Team Trans”. There were also opposing protesters in Los Angeles, who spoke out for Chappelle and freedom of speech.
Chappelle said earlier this month not to care much of the criticism. He was welcomed with applause at a performance in Los Angeles: “If it feels like being ‘cancelled‘, I’m fine with it,” he said.
Apologies Netflix boss
Among the pro-trans protesters were Joey Soloway, who won two Emmys as creator of the Amazon Prime series Transparent. That comedy is about a family whose one parent turns out to be a transgender person. Soloway called on Netflix to add a transgender person to the board of directors.
Sarandos has apologized before. He said he had not realized that his laconic response caused him to hurt a group of employees.
One of the protests organizers says those excuses are good, but hopes Netflix will take responsibility for the programs they broadcast.