1,000 Netflix Employees Are Reportedly Planning Walkout to Protest New Chappelle Special

Home Technology 1,000 Netflix Employees Are Reportedly Planning Walkout to Protest New Chappelle Special
1,000 Netflix Employees Are Reportedly Planning Walkout to Protest New Chappelle Special
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Photo: Stacy Revere / Staff (Getty Images)

Following Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ continued defense of the anti-trans sentiments in comedian Dave Chappelle’s new special, The Closer, at least 1,000 incensed employees are now reportedly planning to participate in a virtual work stoppage on Oct. 20.

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For nearly a week now, trans and trans-allied staffers have been voicing concerns over Chappelle’s ridicule of the LGBTQ community throughout the special, during which he self-identifies as a TERF (or “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”) and repeatedly dismisses the concept of a gender identity altogether. But in the wake of heated criticisms from both employees and customers, Netflix execs have made the bizarre decision to double down on their defense of the special, issuing a series of increasingly tone-deaf memos to staff.

In the most recent of these memos, a copy of which was obtained by Variety, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos dismisses the trans allies who had claimed that Chappelle’s comments had the potential to instigate real-life violence against the community, arguing that “while some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”

“The strongest evidence to support this is that violence on screens has grown hugely over the last 30 years, especially with first-party shooter games, and yet violent crime has fallen significantly in many countries,” Sarandos wrote. “Adults can watch violence, assault and abuse—or enjoy shocking stand-up comedy—without it causing them to harm others.”