Dave Chappelle (Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Kathy Hutchins)

Trans employees staged a walkout at Neflix on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, and met up with hundreds of supporters in the streets to protest the controversial Dave Chappelle special “The Closer.”

Furthermore, the employees took umbrage with the Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos’ unilateral support for airing the Chappelle special.

Sarandos told The Hollywood Reporter that he was not going to stop airing the Chappelle special and doesn’t believe it would be “appropriate” to add a disclaimer to alert prospective viewers of potentially harmful comments.

“I do think that the inclusion of the special on Netflix is consistent with our comedy offering, it’s consistent with Dave Chappelle’s comedy brand, and this is … one of those times when there’s something on Netflix that you’re not going to like.”

Ashlee Marie Preston told the press that the large group were backing the trans employees’ stance to push back against Chapelle and Netflix.

“It’s violent to make members of the transgender community who work for your company participate in the oppression of their own community, and we’re here to disrupt that and stand in solidarity with the employees,” she said.

Ahead of the walkout, Netflix issued a statement to acknowledge the “deep hurt that’s been caused.”

“We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “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.”


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