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Hundreds of Netflix employees and other demonstrators gathered Wednesday outside the company's Los Angeles headquarters to protest Dave Chappelle's new special, which critics have called offensive to the LGBTQ community.
The anti-Chappelle protesters were seen waving flags reading “Trans Lives Matter” and “Transphobia is Not a Joke.”
Netflix employees staged a walkout to protest comedian Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special ‘The Closer,’ which they say contains harmful language that ridicules transgender people https://t.co/ixGnvSmSUa pic.twitter.com/UQ1j2YXz1t
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 20, 2021
Protest organizer Ashlee Marie Preston says she invited Chappelle to the event and asked him to speak to the crowd, but her request was turned down.
“We’re up against the emergence of hate economy,” Preston said. “And there is this manipulation of algorithmic science that distorts the way that we perceive ourselves and others. And I think that companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Instagram, they play into it, and they monetize on it. And so I think that this is important to show up today.”
Pro-Chappelle counterprotesters were also present en masse carrying signs reading "Jokes Are Funny” and “Netflix Don’t Cancel Free Speech.”
“We are protesting this walkout. They have the right to do it, but we have the right to stand up for Dave Chappelle and his freedom of expression,” explained Gigi LaRoux, who said she was a supporter of comedy. “This boils down to equality, and if people want equality they to be put on the same level as anybody else. Comedians are equal opportunity destroyers. You can’t pick and choose who you’re going to make fun of.“
Some scuffles between the two groups were caught on camera with protesters screaming and shoving. One man even had his sign torn by protesters on the other side.
Netflix protest ridiculousness pic.twitter.com/oLhUKazXDc
— Luke Rudkowski (@Lukewearechange) October 20, 2021
“We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused. We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content," Netflix said in a statement before the demonstrations, according to Variety.
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Original Author: Matthew Miller
Original Location: Netflix employee walkout protesters clash with Dave Chappelle supporters