A planned walkout of Netflix employees garnered lots of media attention. It did not change the company’s stance on the Chappelle special.
Netflix employees walked out of work on Wednesday in protest of the streaming company’s support of Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy stand-up special.
- They claim Chappelle made transphobic jokes in the special and that Netflix’s response to their “pain” was insufficient, though one counter-protester argued that speech is not violence, despite what the protesters allege.
- The group organizing the walkout also published a list of demands Netflix must agree to, including the company acknowledging the “harm” it is responsible for and hiring “trans executive and increased spending on trans and nonbinary” projects.
- Netflix executives previously defended Chappelle and the company, saying the comedy special will not be taken down.
- Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos recently said he “screwed up” how he addressed the company’s staff about the incident but said his stance on keeping the content up has not changed.
- CNN covered the change in Sarandos’ stance and tone, framing the story as Sarandos having regretted saying that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”
- The Washington Post interviewed a high school student who is not happy with his school, Chappelle’s alma mater, naming their theater after “someone who does not respect [his] sexuality.”
- The Verge focused on the pro-trans group of Netflix employees and its “list of demands” sent to company executives and posted online before their walkout.
- Fox News covered the harassment of a counter-protestor who was physically intimidated and whose sign was destroyed for saying “We like Dave” and “Jokes are funny.”
- Breitbart highlighted the comments and sentiment from the protest’s organizer, who used racially charged language to characterize Chappelle as a slave who sold himself to his “master” Netflix.
- RedState praised Netflix’s Sarandos for standing firm on keeping Chappelle’s special on the streaming service, noting that his quasi-backtracking on admitting he “screwed up” was corporate-speak but that his commitment to providing “varying content for a varying viewer base” won’t be changed “to protect the sensibilities of a few.”
Contrary to modern woke politics, speech is not violence. Contrary to modern woke politics, violence is not free speech. Netflix’s stance promotes free, unencumbered creative expression, an ideal that was fully supported by liberals until recently. At no point did Chappelle call for violence or attacks on anyone or any group of people and shouldn’t be held responsible for any acts of violence committed by a third party.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021