Perspectives: Dave Chappelle Protests

Headline Roundup October 24th, 2021

Dozens of Netflix employees joined more than a hundred supporters and trans activists in Los Angeles on Wednesday to protest Dave Chappelle's most recent stand-up special. The comedian made a number of controversial jokes about gender issues and the LGBTQ community, which offended many members of the transgender community. Carrying signs that read “Transphobia Isn’t Funny” and “Hey Netflix: Do Better,” the activists and supporters sent a list of demands to Netflix — including the creation of a new fund to recruit more trans and nonbinary talent as well as adding a disclaimer “before transphobic titles that specifically flag transphobic language, misogyny, homophobia, hate speech, etc. as required.” Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos said he supports the walkout but continues to defended Chappelle's special, citing the company's commitment to artistic freedom as the main reason for keeping the comedy special on the streaming platform.

Coverage was consistent across the spectrum, although right-rated opinions on the protests were more prominent. Some outlets cited different numbers that represented the number of Netflix employees participating in the protest. The Wall Street Journal noted that "the extent of the walkout wasn’t clear" as many employees are working remotely. Coverage from left-rated outlets predominantly featured quotes from members of the LGBTQ community that highlighted why "they felt the special crossed a line." Right-rated voices framed reporting from left-rated news outlets as "inaccurate," criticizing them for overamplifying how "counter-protestors became physical and threatening." The Associated Press was accused by right-rated outlets for falsely claiming that a counter-protester "screamed profanities" at protestors, which was later corrected. The Washington Examiner labeled the "journalistic misconduct" as "the deliberate use of lies to promote an agenda." 

From the Right
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OPINION

The Associated Press published a story this week about a small protest outside Netflix’s headquarters that was held in response to the company’s defense of comedian Dave Chappelle and his recent special. In the story, the Associated Press included a picture of a Chappelle supporter who “clashed” with protesters. The photo caption read: “Comedian and videographer Vito Gesualdi screams profanities as he engages with peaceful protesters begging him to leave outside the Netflix building in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.”

But according to Gesualdi, this never happened. He didn’t yell at protesters or...

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From the Center
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A group of protesters gathered outside one of Netflix Inc.’s NFLX 1.78% Los Angeles offices Wednesday to express anger over the streaming giant’s Dave Chappelle comedy special, as some employees released demands for management and staged a walkout.

In the special, “The Closer,” Mr. Chappelle made jokes and remarks regarding gender that many in the transgender community, including some Netflix staffers, found offensive. The company has defended the special, citing reasons including the company’s commitment to artistic freedom.

Carrying signs that read “Transphobia Isn’t Funny” and “Trans Lives Matter,” protesters demanded that Netflix offer more inclusive...

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From the Left
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ANALYSIS

Netflix has a storm on its hands.

Hundreds of protesters stood in solidarity with the streaming giant’s employees, who staged a walkout on Wednesday morning in the wake of Dave Chappelle’s inflammatory comedy special The Closer, which has been widely viewed as transphobic.

The walkout came after several days of backlash against Netflix, first for standing by the special, then for temporarily suspending three Netflix workers—one of whom is trans— for attending a high-level meeting about the special, and most recently for firing a Black trans employee who allegedly shared that Netflix had shelled out $24.1...

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