Trans employees at Netflix hold a walkout and make demands for more inclusive content

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Netflix continues to be in the eye of a storm following negative employee reaction to the Dave Chappelle comedy special “The Closer.” Photo by ​ Michael Vi / Shutterstock.

There’s continued unrest at Netflix following the release of the Dave Chappelle comedy special “The Closer,” which includes jokes that some consider transphobic and homophobic. This week, trans Netflix employees and allies staged a walkout and demanded  the streamer invest more in content from trans creators. They are not asking Netflix to remove “The Closer,” but they want the company to hire more trans employees in leadership roles and to add a disclaimer to transphobic content. 

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos struck a conciliatory tone and said that he “screwed up” when he previously wrote in a memo that on-screen content does not impact the real world. Sarandos had previously been strident in the face of employee pushback, saying that he’d be standing by Chappelle and citing how popular his specials were with Netflix viewers. 

This has been a seminal moment inside Netflix. The company claims to be built on transparency and trust, and historically has had very few leaks. But some employees were so upset over the company’s defense of “The Closer” that they leaked sensitive financial information to Lucas Shaw at Bloomberg



Kaitlin Parker