Transgender employees of Netflix are planning a walkout in protest of the company’s co-CEO defending comedian Dave Chappelle’s "The Closer" special on the streaming platform. The announcement comes as one trans employee was suspended - and later reinstated - for crashing a quarterly business review meeting she was not invited to attend.
"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!" a leader for the trans employee resource group at Netflix wrote in an internal organizing message, The Verge reported.
The walkout is scheduled for Oct. 20. It comes in response to co-CEO Ted Sarandos defending the company’s collaboration with Chappelle, who has faced years of backlash and claims that he is "transphobic," including after "The Closer" was released this month.
"Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him. His last special 'Sticks & Stones,' also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest and most award winning stand-up special to date," Sarandos wrote in an internal memo obtained by Variety.
One trans employee, Terra Field, and two other staffers were recently suspended for crashing a quarterly business meeting they were not invited to. Field, a senior software engineer, had also posted a Twitter thread critical of Chappelle’s special that went viral on Twitter.
The company said earlier this week that Field was not suspended for her Twitter thread, but for crashing the meeting. She has since been reinstated at the company and said on Twitter that Netflix found she had "no ill-intent" when joining the meeting that was only intended for company higher-ups.
"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. 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," Field tweeted Tuesday evening.
Trans employees, however, are taking issue with Sarandos’s comments defending Chappelle, and say his comments have inflamed the situation with Field, The Verge reported.
"As we’ve discussed through Slack, email, text, and everything in between our leadership has shown us they do not uphold the values to which we are held. Between the numerous emails and non-answers that have been given, we have been told explicitly that we somehow cannot understand the nuance of certain content."
Netflix did not immediately respond to Fox News’s request for comment on the walkout.