Trans Netflix employees are reportedly planning a walkout following the release of Chappelle’s new special

Chappelle in “The Closer.”

Trans employees at Netflix are planning a walkout next week, The Verge reported.
The walkout plan comes after Netflix’s co-CEO defended the release of Dave Chappelle’s new special.
In the special, Chappelle makes transphobic comments and defends JK Rowling.

Netflix’s trans employee resource group is planning a walkout next week, The Verge reported.

The walkout comes after co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended in an internal memo the streamer’s decision to release Dave Chappelle’s controversial new standup special, “The Closer,” in which Chappelle makes transphobic comments.

The Verge reported that the employees are planning the company-wide walkout for October 20 to protest Sarandos’ comments.

Netflix did not respond to a request for comment.

A group leader wrote in an internal message, which The Verge obtained: “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. We can and must do better!”

According to The Verge and Variety, in Sarandos’ memo to executives last week, he wrote in part: “Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him. His last special, ‘Sticks & Stones,’ also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest, and most award winning stand-up special to date.”

Sarandos’ memo was in response to questions he fielded during an executive meeting, after which three employees were suspended for trying to join without an invitation.

One of the suspended staffers was senior software engineer Terra Field, who is trans and had gone viral on Twitter last week after criticizing Netflix for releasing Chappelle’s special. She said that Chappelle “attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness – all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups.”

Netflix confirmed all three staffers had been reinstated in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying: “We will be distributing broader guidance about meetings and clarifying which are for which people.” Field confirmed her reinstatement on Twitter on Tuesday, saying that the investigation found no ill-intent in her attending the meeting.

In Chappelle’s special, he says that “gender is a fact” and defended “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling, who has also been criticized for making transphobic comments, by saying “Team TERF!,” which stands for “trans exclusionary radical feminist.” Rowling has referred to herself as a TERF.

Outside groups have also criticized Netflix’s decision to stream the special.

On Monday, GLAAD tweeted, “Netflix has a policy that content ‘designed to incite hate or violence’ is not allowed on the platform, but we all know that anti-LGBTQ content does exactly that.”

It added: “While Netflix is home to groundbreaking LGBTQ stories, now is the time for Netflix execs to listen to LGBTQ employees, industry leaders, and audiences and commit to living up to their own standards.”

“The Closer” was the third most popular title on Netflix in the US on Wednesday.

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