Transgender Netflix employees are reportedly planning a company-wide walkout to protest Dave Chappelle’s comedy special The Closer and the company’s refusal to remove it from the streaming platform.
The walkout, set for October 20, is intended to send a message to Netflix management that it has caused actual “harm” to the trans community, according to a report from The Verge.
The accusation was spelled out in internal message from Netflix’s “trans employee resource group.”
“Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter. And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content,” the message said. “We can and must do better!”
It remains unclear how many transgender people Netflix currently employs and if the the walkout will also include non-trans employees.
Dave Chappelle’s The Closer has provoked a vicious backlash from 2SLGBTQQIA+ groups angry over the comedian’s jokes that poke fun of subjects including transgender vaginas and gay privilege. In the show, the comedian declared that “gender is a fact” and aligned himself with “team TERF” — a reference to so-called “trans-exclusionary radical feminists.”
Groups including GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition have denounced the show and are calling for it to be removed.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos inflamed matters earlier this week when he defended Chappelle in an internal memo and refused to remove The Closer from the streaming platform. The company allegedly suspended three transgender employees who attempted to crash a meeting in protest.
One of those employees, a male-to-female transgender named “Terra Field,” has allegedly been re-instated.
Netflix has reinstated me after finding that there was no ill-intent in my attending the QBR meeting. I've included the statement I requested below.
I'm going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I'm at. At the very least, I feel vindicated. pic.twitter.com/lYxemYgRkJ
— Terra Field (@RainofTerra) October 13, 2021
Sarandos’ defense of Chappelle has not gone over well with the mainstream media, which have given overwhelmingly negative reviews to The Closer. The Los Angeles Times ran a column Wednesday accusing Sarandos of “gaslighting” his own employees.