Netflix transgender employees and allies call for walkout after Dave Chappelle jokes


(NewsNation Now) — Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix comedy special, “The Closer,” is drawing as many protests as laughs over its treatment of the LGBTQ community.

It’s unclear how many Netflix employees will be taking part in a planned walkout next week in protest of the special’s content. 

“The Closer,” came out a week ago. The comedy special has opened a contentious battle over his jokes about the LGBTQ community, and especially those who are transgender.

One Netflix employee tweeted, “He attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness — all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups.” 

The controversy has grown since staff emails from Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended Chappelle. In an internal company email, Sarandos said the company will not be taking down the special and that the content does not translate into real-world harm.

National Black Justice Coalition activist Blossom C. Brown says Chappelle should be held accountable.

“He has money, wealth, he has power. But this is a lot of real-life for those who are on the ground having to be in survival mode each and every day.”

Chappelle has a history of sparking controversy, and Netflix employees had voiced concerns before. This week, GLAAD and numerous LGBTQ groups spoke out, as well.

The latest battle has trans employees of Netflix and company supporters planning to walk out next Wednesday.

“How can you rewire and reprogram the old ideology of Hollywood and who comes through it?” Brown said.

So far, there has been no public response from Netflix on the controversy or the planned walkout. “The Closer” is currently among the top five shows on Netflix.

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