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Netflix trans-staffers plan walkout as exec defends Dave Chappelle: ‘If this is what being canceled is about, I love it’

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Transgender employees at streaming giant Netflix say they plan to walk out in protest over the suspension of a fellow trans worker, though that staffer has since been reinstated.

The walkout is more closely linked to their anger over the company’s co-CEO’s defense of comedian Dave Chapelle’s recent “The Closer” special, though the trans staffer in question was suspended for crashing a quarter business review meeting that she was not asked to attend, Fox Business reported.

“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!” wrote a leader for the trans employee resource group at the streaming network in an internal organizing message, according to The Verge.

According to the report, the walkout is to take place on Oct. 20 in response to co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ remarks in defending Netflix’s collaboration with the popular comedian, who has been criticized for years over claims he is “transphobic,” to include jokes he told during his “Closer” special earlier 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,” noted Sarandos in an internal communication that was obtained by the entertainment outlet Variety.

Terra Field, one trans staffer at Netflix, was suspended along with two other workers recently after storming into a business meeting uninvited. A senior software engineer, Field also posted a critical Twitter thread referencing Chappelle’s recent special that went viral on the platform.

But this week, the streaming major said that Field wasn’t suspended for her remarks online but instead for crashing the business meeting. After being reinstated, she again took to Twitter to say that Netflix officials found she had “no ill-intent” when she crashed the meeting.

“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 late Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the company’s trans employees have continued to take issue with the co-CEO’s comments in defense of Chappelle, adding that they have only worsened the situation with Field, according to The Verge.

“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,” said the walkout announcement.

During his special, Chappelle got a standing ovation from the crowd when he pushed back on the so-called ‘cancel culture’ after defending “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling’s stance on gender.

“If this is what being canceled is about, I love it,” Chappelle said to cheers. “I don’t know what to tell you, except I’m a bad motherf***er.”

“F*** Twitter. F*** NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid-ass networks,” he added, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to you. This is real life.”

Jon Dougherty

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