Netflix employees in Los Angeles gathered at noon on Wednesday to protest the streaming giant’s handling of transphobic content in Dave Chapelle’s latest stand-up special, which aired earlier this month.
Dozens of trans employees and supporters assembled outside of the company’s offices in Hollywood. The “‘Stand Up’ in Solidarity” rally, which was organized by trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston, took place while employees in Los Angeles and New York participated in a virtual walkout.
Rather than ask for the special to be removed, protesters issued a list of demands and proposed policies, including a fund for trans and nonbinary talent, content warnings and a formal apology.
They were met by counterprotesters who held up signs defending Chappelle’s first amendment rights.
After the special generated backlash on social media, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos issued internal memos backing Chappelle’s “artistic freedom” and insisting that content does not “directly translate to real-world harm.” He later apologized for his remarks but stood by his decision to not remove the special.
On the morning of the walkout, Netflix issued a statement saying that it respected its employees’ decision to protest.
See exclusive photos from the protest below.