A host of transgender Netflix employees have planned a walkout over the Dave Chappelle controversy, which erupted following the release of the comedian’s latest comedy special, The Closer.
As reported by Rebel News, Chappelle took aim at transgender activists by defending Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and branded himself a “TERF,” an-often disparaging term for women who are deemed “transphobic.”
Although much of the special is typical of Chappelle’s comedy routine, the comedian could not have asked for better promotion on social media. Attempts to cancel the comedian have failed, with Chappelle largely dismissing the criticism.
Earlier this week, Netflix suspended a transgender employee and two others for barging into an executive meeting to complain about the streaming service’s continued platforming of the popular black comedian, Rebel News reported. The software engineer who led the charge, Terra Field, was briefly suspended but was later reinstated, Newsweek reported.
“Netflix has reinstated me after finding that there was no ill-intent in my attending the QBR meeting. I've included the statement I requested below,” Field tweeted. “I'm going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I'm at. At the very least, I feel vindicated.”
Netflix told the outlet that Field’s brief suspension was not due to the Twitter thread on Chappelle, but rather the uninvited intrusion into the high-level meeting.
“It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show. Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly and we support their right to do so,” Netflix said.
Following the debacle, transgender Netflix employees are planning to step up their internal protest against the continued platforming of Dave Chappelle in order to censor him. On Oct. 20, the group is planning a walkout from the streaming service.
A memo forwarded to The Verge suggests that the group is moving ahead with the protest.
“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!” the memo reads.
The employees are reportedly upset at comments made by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, whom they claim inflamed the situation when he said that the company had no intention of censoring or taking down Chappelle’s comedy special. Sarandos stated that he did not believe the comedian crossed any lines.
“Our hope is that you can be hugely inspired by entertaining the world, while also living with titles you strongly believe have no place on Netflix. This will not be the last title that causes some of you to wonder if you can still love Netflix. I sincerely hope that you can,” wrote Sarandos in a separate email.