Netflix employees who walked out Wednesday in protest of Dave Chappelle's special and its anti-transgender comments were joined by allies who chanted "Trans lives matter," getting pushback from counterprotesters who also showed up.
A pre-noon rally at a Netflix office-studio complex drew about 100 people, most on the side of an estimated 30 workers at the streaming giant that joined in afterward. Some were willing to identify themselves as Netflix employees, but all declined to provide their names.
Joey Soloway, creator of the groundbreaking Emmy-winning comedy Transparent, was among the speakers at the rally. Chappelle's decision to share "his outrage as comedic humiliation in front of thousands of people, and then broadcasting it to hundreds of millions of people is infinitely amplified gender violence," they said. "I want trans representation on the Netflix board, this (expletive) week," the writer-director said.
Ashlee Marie Preston, an activist and the organiser of the event, addressed the rally and spoke to The Associated Press afterward. She said that calling out Chappelle for his remarks was not enough."It was important to shift the focus to the people that sign the checks, because Dave Chappelle doesn't sign checks, Netflix does," Preston said.
"If we have companies like Netflix who aren't listening to their employees, who are forcing their employees to participate in their own oppression, that's unacceptable. We're here to keep people accountable. We're not going anywhere," she said, adding that efforts are underway to start a dialogue with Netflix executives.