A group of Netflix employees staged a walkout Wednesday in protest of Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special ‘The Closer.’ The walkout was organized by a trans employee resource group which has reportedly demanded that Netflix adopt new measures to address transphobic content and invest in trans and non-binary creators.
Since Chappelle’s special aired, it has received major backlash and many have criticized the show as transphobic and harmful to transgender people; the comedian makes numerous mocking remarks about the LGBTQ community, and transgender people in particular. Anger over the special then intensified after Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the special in two separate memos to staff. Sarandos wrote in part: “We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe ‘The Closer’ crosses that line,” adding that “content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” However this week, Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter that he “screwed up” on the Chappelle memos, but added that his “stance hasn’t changed” on the issue.
A Netflix spokesperson said in a statement, “We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused. We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.”
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