Protest against Netflix after showing a transphobic show

A group of protesters gathered near the Netflix headquarters in Los Angeles on Wednesday at the call of LGBTQ activists who are criticizing the streaming platform for its support of comedian Dave Chappelle and his comments deemed hateful by some.

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“I think trans and non-binary employees are not safe as long as their employer is streaming content that could harm them,” said Devan McGrath, a Netflix Animation employee, who took part in the strike.

The controversy erupted two weeks ago with Netflix’s “The Closer,” in which the stand-up star is responding to critics who have accused him in the past of making fun of transgender people. In particular, he replies that “gender is real” and that its critics are “very sensitive”.

After defending the show, Netflix finally tried to ease tensions before holding the rally. “We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to opt out and recognize that we still have work to do within Netflix and for our content,” the streaming giant wrote on Wednesday in a statement to AFP.

The platform “understands the deep wound he caused”.

One of the rally’s organizers, Ashley Marie Preston, insisted that jokes like Dave Chappelle’s were harmful to the transgender minority.

“We’re not here today because we can’t laugh. We’re here because we’re worried these jokes take lives. There’s nothing to laugh at,” she said.

Ashley Marie Preston accuses companies like Netflix of “taking advantage of these tensions” and using “algorithms to manipulate and distort our perception of ourselves and others”.

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Protesters in particular asked the streaming platform to precede The Closer with a warning and a commitment to promoting more LGBT talent.

” Failed “

Dave Chappelle’s show has been condemned by LGBTQ groups such as GLAAD, which, with supporting studies, denounce the negative impact that spreading stereotypes can have on minorities.

In a note to Netflix employees, co-CEO in charge of content Ted Sarandos estimated that what was broadcast “on screen did not translate directly into harmful consequences in the real world” and that the principle of free speech prevailed.

But he ended up admitting the mistake Tuesday night, in interviews with several specialized Hollywood publications: “I screwed up.”

“First of all, I should have realized that some of our employees were suffering, and that they felt real hurt from a business decision we made,” Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter.

However, the Netflix chief reiterated that in his opinion, the Dave Chappelle Show should not be removed from the platform.

Three employees including Terra Field, a transgender employee of the broadcast service, were laid off for entering a virtual executive meeting, before being sent back.

Another employee was fired for disclosing confidential information about the cost of The Closer program.

The call to get out and gather was backed by small-screen celebrities like Jamila Jamil (“The Good Place”) and Jonathan Van Ness (“Queer Eye”), who recorded a hilarious video.

Dave Chappelle, an African American comedian, has been accused in the past of mocking transgender people, but he remains hugely popular in the United States.

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In his controversial show, the comedian highlights his experience as a black man. He believes that white gay men “are part of a minority until they need to be white again”. He says LGBTQ communities have made more progress in a few years than blacks in decades.

On Wednesday, a small group of counter-protesters rallied in support of Dave Chappelle.

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