Netflix Employees Walkout in Dissent Against Dave Chappelle’s Special “The Closer”

Netflix employees stage a walkout in protest against Dave Chappelle’s allegedly “transphobic” special “The Closer”

Netflix might have a hard time dealing with the criticism against Dave Chappelle’s supposedly “transphobic” comedy special, The Closer. On October 20, masses of the streamer’s employees staged a walkout at its Los Angeles office in pursuit of backing Dave Chappelle’s instigative special. Dozens of protestors also joined the march expressing their demurral against Netflix‘s response towards the special, which is known to have trans-phobic statements.

Netflix Walkout in front of Netflix office, Los Angeles
Instagram: @bellikemike

What led to the protest?

In recent times, the streaming service faced a fallout for backing Chappelle’s comedy special, The Closer, quite a few times. Notably, the backlash came from the trans and LGBTQ communities of the societies. It all started when Netflix stood by Chappelle’s comedy special even after it was reported to contain anti-trans remarks. Later the streaming giant briefly suspended three employees, including a trans employee who voiced out her opinions in a series of tweets, explaining why “The Closer” is harmful to the trans groups. However, the employees got suspended for attending a higher-level meeting regarding The Closer unasked. Further, the streamer fired a black trans employee for sharing some classified data about Chappelle’s special. 

Demands of the protestors

The employees reportedly demanded Netflix create a fund to aid the growth of trans and nonbinary talent. In addition, they also wanted the streamer to recruit trans (most importantly trans-black) people in leadership roles. Further, they asked Netflix to display disclaimers on potentially harmful transphobic content. In the walkout against the streamer, the protesters carried boards with slogans like “Black Trans Lives Matter” written on them.

Ted Sarandos continues to defend his decision!

The co-CEO of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, defended his decision to air “The Closer” in an internal memo recently released. He stated in the memo that he didn’t feel it (The Closer) truly crossed the line of being overly offensive.

Ted Sarandos: co-CEO Netflix
Instagram: @tedsarandos

In a recent interview on October 19, Sarandos accepted that he screwed it up. Netflix also published a statement just before the walkout which stated that they value their trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused.