Netflix’s Trans Employee Resource Group plans a company-wide walkout on October 20 to protest against statements by co-CEO Ted Sarandos regarding Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special The closest.
“Trans lives matter. Trans rights issue. And as an organization, Netflix has still not been very careful in our mission to entertain the world by repeatedly posting content that harms the trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and elevates trans content. We can and must do better! ”Wrote a leader of the trans ERG in an internal organizing post.
The event comes even as Netflix has reinstated Terra Field and two other employees who were suspended after attending a manager-level meeting they were not invited to. Field had recently posted a viral discussion thread on the Dave Chappelle Special, claiming that it “attacked the trans community and the very validity of transness.” Field was unaware that she was not supposed to attend the meeting, according to people familiar with the situation. Netflix now plans to provide guidance to employees regarding its meeting attendance policy.
Netflix reinstated me after seeing that there was no bad intention in my attending the QBR meeting. I have included the statement I requested below.
I’m going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I am. At the very least, I feel justified. pic.twitter.com/lYxemYgRkJ
– Terra Field (@RainofTerra) October 13, 2021
Netflix employees say co-CEO Ted Sarandos’ comments only made the situation worse. On October 8, the executive sent an internal email stating that the company would not be withdrawing the special. He added that he didn’t believe Chappelle’s stand-up crossed a line.
Sarandos then wrote a second memo saying, “Our hope is that you can be hugely inspired by entertaining the world, while still living with titles that you think have no place on Netflix. It won’t be the last title that has some of you wondering if you can still love Netflix. I sincerely hope you can.
In the special, Chappelle addressed the criticisms he received from the LGBTQ community – then doubled down on his jokes about trans people. The stand-up has been widely criticized by trans activists and groups like GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition.
Internally, the organizers wrote: “As we discussed through Slack, emails, texts and everything in between our leaders have shown us that they are not standing up for the values we hold dear. Between the many emails and no replies that were given, we were explicitly told that we somehow cannot understand the nuance of some content.
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