The controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special The Closer, in which the comic made remarks disparaging the trans community, intensified this morning as hundreds of activists and allies rallied in support of a walkout by the streaming giant’s employees. The list of allies included the most notable trans star on Netflix: Umbrella Academy superhero Elliot Page.
I stand with the trans, nonbinary, and BIPOC employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace #NetflixWalkout
Employees are staging the walkout to pressure the company to adopt measures in the areas of “content investment, employee relations and safety, and harm reduction,” according to the company’s trans employee resource group, Trans*.
These measures are meant to avoid future instances of promoting misinformation about the trans and nonbinary community, which activists say have real-life consequences for trans youth – despite an assertion to the contrary by company co-CEO Ted Sarandos. As Ashlee Marie Preston, one of the architects of #NetflixWalkout, explained in a series of tweets:
We all know how great it can be, & that it’s not there yet
We’re moving the rally to better accommodate attendees.?? There will be point people at the other site to redirect people to the other site-which is a 2 minute drive or 6 minute walk away from the original location. We look forward to being in community w/ you. #NetflixWalkout
Hours before the planned walkout, Netflix issued a statement in support of the protest action. “We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused,” the company said. “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.”