Trans staff at Netflix are planning a protest over Dave Chappelle’s stand-up (Picture: Netflix)
Trans staff at the US branch of Netflix are planning a protest following the co-CEO Ted Sarandos’s defense of Dave Chappelle’s stand-up special, The Closer.
The comic has been widely criticised by many viewers and LGBTQ+ organisations for defending J.K. Rowling’s views on trans women by declaring that he’s ‘team TERF’, and joked that you should avoid upsetting the community by talking about rapper DaBaby’s remarks about HIV during his set at a music festival.
In turn, the trans employee resource group within Netflix is organising a demonstration after Netflix refused to remove the stand-up form its service despite many of its users threatening to boycott.
The leader of the group wrote to staff (via The Verge): ‘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!’
Chappelle’s new special has caused controversy (Picture: Netflix)
Sarandos previously said: ‘Chapelle 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.
‘As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful.’
He went on to share examples of other controversial Netflix releases such as the teen suicide drama, 13 Reasons Why, and film Cuties, which was meant to comment on the ‘hypersexualization of children’ but received wide backlash.
Sarandos continued: ‘Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow titles Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe ‘The Closer’ crosses that line.
‘Particularly in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is obviously a very different standard of speech than we allow internally as the goals are different: entertaining people versus maintaining a respectful, productive workplace.’
Earlier this week, Netflix was forced to deny reports it had suspended a trans employee for calling out the Chappelle special.
The comedian is due to make an appearance in London for a special screening of The Closer later this month.
Metro.co.uk has contacted a spokesperson from Netflix for comment on this story.
The Closer is available to stream on Netflix.
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