Transgender Netflix staffers plan walkout in protest of Dave Chappelle special
Some Netflix employees are reportedly planning on staging a walkout in protest of the streaming giant's release of Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special, which has been criticized for its transphobic material.
Transgender employees and their supporters are organizing a walkout for Oct. 20, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The planned effort will come a day after a virtual event "open to all staffers [to] discuss the Chappelle special’s impact on the trans community," according to the paper.
The move comes as Chappelle's stand-up special, "The Closer," ignited a firestorm of controversy over the Emmy Award winner's remarks.
Using crude terms to refer to a transgender person's anatomy, Chappelle says in the show, which debuted earlier this month, "Every human being in this room, every human being on Earth, had to pass through the legs of a woman to be on Earth. That is a fact."
GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition condemned "The Closer," as well as Netflix for releasing it.
A Netflix spokesperson told ITK on Wednesday in response to the walkout report, "We support artistic expression for our creators. We also encourage our employees to disagree openly."
The spokesperson also defended the comedian's work, saying Chappelle's shows "are consistently the most-watched comedy specials on Netflix, and have earned many awards, including both an Emmy and a Grammy for 'Sticks and Stones.'"
Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos also defended the special in a memo sent last week.
"Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate," Sarandos said. "We don’t allow titles [on] Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe 'The Closer' crosses that line."