In the wake of outrage over Dave Chappelle’s controversial comments about transgender people in his new Netflix special “The Closer”, LGBTQ employees and their allies are staging a walkout on Wednesday, Oct. 20, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ comments defending the special.
In a statement to ET Canada, a Netflix spokesperson said, “We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused. We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.”
In their list of demands, the employees at Netflix did not call for any changes to “The Closer” or for the special to be removed from the service.
The walkout is receiving support from throughout Hollywood’s LGBTQ community, with several high-profile gay and transgender figures standing behind the walkout.
Dan Levy, who recently signed a deal with Netflix, took to Twitter to declare he’s standing “with every employee at Netflix using their voice to ensure a safe and supportive work environment,” adding, “Transphobia is unacceptable and harmful. That isn’t a debate.”
— dan levy (@danjlevy) October 20, 2021
Trans director Lilly Wachowski, whose sci-fi series “Sense8” ran on Netflix, also offered her support, tweeting, “If you’re not standing up for trans lives, you need to take a good look at who you ARE standing with.”
#NetflixWalkout If you're not standing up for trans lives, you need to take a good look at who you ARE standing with. Good luck today everybody! ⚡️🎸⚡️
— Lilly Wachowski (@lilly_wachowski) October 20, 2021
Trans actor Elliot Page, star of Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” also took his employer to task by tweeting, “I stand with the trans, nonbinary, and BIPOC employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace #NetflixWalkout.”
— Elliot Page (@TheElliotPage) October 20, 2021
Other celebs publicly supporting the #NetflixWalkout on social media included Billy Eichner, Wanda Sykes and Sara Ramirez.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) October 20, 2021
— Wanda Sykes (@iamwandasykes) October 20, 2021
TODAY’s #NetflixWalkout has been organized by the Trans Employee Resource Group at Netflix
TODAY’s rally is at the below address and is in support of the Netflix TERG walkout
— Sara Ramirez 🐜 (@SaraRamirez) October 20, 2021