Content Warning: Contains descriptions of Transphobia.
The streaming service Netflix will be losing a number of staff members for a day as they stage a walkout in solidarity with the Trans community and everyone affected by the Transphobic commentary in Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special, The Closer.
The special, which dropped on October 5, has outraged members of the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike as Chappelle labels himself “Team TERF” and states “gender is a fact”.
In a memo that was leaked to the press, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos told employees that they would not be removing the Chappelle special, citing the popularity of the comedian and their “long standing deal with him”. You can read the full memo and the public’s response here.
Hmmm…..Netflix CEO argues that Chappelle’s new special, criticized as transphobic, is too popular to cancel https://t.co/1fFTO23Hoc #DaveChappelle pic.twitter.com/ttQbxqwKVH
— Roger Hyttinen ? (@rogerhyttinen) October 13, 2021
Trans*, a Netflix employee resource group that includes both Trans members of staff and allies, are the organisers behind the walkout and plan to treat the peaceful protest as a “day of rest”. The proposal for the walkout action was posted to a public company Slack channel by a member of the group.
“I encourage all [members of] Trans* and allies not to work for Netflix that day. … As we’ve discussed through Slack, email, texts and everything in between, our leadership has shown us that they do not uphold the values for which we are held.”
Its a pretty small ask, don't stream netflix during the walkout, there are other things you can watch. Even if its a small thing showing some solidarity with the trans netflix employees will still help. https://t.co/0hdqyzqD5L
— Aranock, 4 of Ravens (@Aranock1) October 13, 2021
The Slack message goes on to say, “Between the numerous emails and non-answers that have been given, we have been told explicitly that we somehow cannot understand the nuance of certain content. I don’t know about you, but asking for us to show the whole story and not just the pieces that harm Trans and [LGBTQ+] people is not an unreasonable ask. So, I encourage us all to state clearly that we, as Netflix employees are stunning not simply when we are doing the work that our roles demand of us but also when we challenge the very principles of our company.”
If you have been affected by this story or are looking to reach out to someone for support or advice or just to talk, there are numerous services available for LGBTQ+ people, listed below, and many offer instant messaging support.
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