Netflix staff walk out over Dave Chappelle's transgender remarks

LOS ANGELES : Protesters gathered outside Netflix in Los Angeles on Wednesday, angry over a new Dave Chappelle comedy special that has sparked accusations that the streaming platform is trampling transgender rights.

A few dozen staff walked off the job and were joined by a similar number of trans activists and their supporters for a demonstration calling for better representation at the Hollywood giant.

"I think trans and non-binary employees aren't safe as long as their employer is putting out content in the world that could harm them," said Netflix Animation employee Devan McGrath, taking part in the walkout.

Netflix has scrambled to respond to the unusually public controversy over Chappelle's The Closer, in which the stand-up star insists "gender is a fact" and accuses LGBTQ people of being "too sensitive".

Demonstrators read out a "list of asks", including for a content warning to be added to The Closer. The row has been going on for two weeks, as Chappelle's comedy special has ridden high on Netflix's list of most-watched titles.

Its co-chief executive Ted Sarandos gave interviews to multiple trade publications on Tuesday in which he admitted: "I screwed up."

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "I should have first and foremost acknowledged... that a group of our employees were in pain, and they were really feeling hurt from a business decision we made."

While agreeing that "content on screen can have impact in the real world, positive and negative", Mr Sarandos reiterated his belief that the stand-up should not be taken down or have any disclaimer added. - AFP