Group of Netflix employees plan walkout amid tensions over Dave Chappelle special
Tensions are mounting within Netflix Inc. over a special Dave Chappelle stand-up that some employees have called offensive to the transgender community, the latest clash between the streaming giant’s radical franchise culture and its adherence to creative freedom.
A group of transgender employees at Netflix are encouraging staff to hold a walkout next Wednesday to protest the recent defense by co-GM and content director Ted Sarandos of the Chappelle special. The walkout plans were previously reported by the Verge and confirmed by Netflix NFLX,
In “The Closer,” which was released last week and is currently one of the most-watched shows on the service in the United States, Chappelle said that “the genre is a fact” and said he identified with himself. like a “TERF”, an acronym which means “radical feminist transexclusionist”. Chappelle said he was not a favorite in the trans community, then added, “Someone said to me, ‘They’re after you, Dave’ and I said, ‘One them or several they? “
A day after the special was released, Terra Field, a Netflix software engineer who is transgender, criticized the show on Twitter, saying Chappelle was attacking “the trans community and the very validity of transiting.” The tweets went viral and caused a backlash within the streaming giant during the special. Groups including LGBTQ rights group GLAAD have spoken out against the show and the National Black Justice Coalition has called on Netflix to remove the special from its platform.
On Monday, Sarandos posted a company-wide email defending the special and saying the service would not be removing it. Sarandos said the company is working hard to support creative freedom, which means “there will always be content on Netflix that some people think is harmful.” He also said he didn’t think the special incited hatred or violence. Chappelle has a long-standing relationship with Netflix, having done several promotions for the streaming service. At the end of the credits of “The Closer”, there is a photo of Chappelle and Sarandos laughing together.
Also popular on WSJ.com: