Taking down the Dave Chappelle special isn’t one of them
The trans employee resource group at Netflix has released a list of demands for the company ahead of Wednesday’s walkout. “We want the company to adopt measures in the areas of content investment, employee relations and safety, and harm reduction, all of which are necessary to avoid future instances of platforming transphobia and hate speech,” employees wrote in a press release, which has not yet been made public but was supplied to The Verge.
The news comes after weeks of controversy due to Netflix executives continuing to support Dave Chappelle and his comedy special The Closer, which many LGBTQ people and allies have criticized as transphobic.
Last week, Netflix fired a leader of the trans ERG who was helping to organize the walkout. The company said this worker had leaked confidential information. Internally, that reasoning has been disputed.
While the conversation has become mired in a “culture wars” dispute over censorship and hate speech, none of the demands involve taking down the comedy special. Employees want Netflix to allow the trans ERG to take on a bigger role in internal conversations surrounding potentially harmful content, hire trans and nonbinary executives, and eliminate imagery of transphobic content in the office.
Read the full letter from Netflix employees below:
Over the past few weeks, it has become clear that there are many places where Netflix
still has to grow when it comes to content relating to the trans and non-binary
community. The Trans* Employee Resource Group, which includes trans and
non-binary colleagues as well as our numerous allies, wants Netflix to immediately take
the steps below to begin to repair the relationship between the Company, our
colleagues, and our audience. Specifically, we want the Company to adopt measures
in the areas of Content Investment, Employee Relations and Safety, and Harm
Reduction, all of which are necessary to avoid future instances of platforming
transphobia and hate speech, and to account for the harm we have caused and will
continue to cause until the below measures are put in place.
○ This fund should support both above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line
○ This fund should exist in addition to the existing Creative Equity Fund;
our total investment in transphobic content, including marketing and
(“sensitive”) content, including but not limited to involving parties who are a
part of the subject community and can speak to potential harm, or consulting
with 3rd party experts/vendors;
ensure we have best in class regional support on complicated intersectional
Employee Relations and Safety
(Director, VP, etc.) and promote an inclusive environment for them;
content (e.g. allyship and diversity videos, etc.);
workplace, including but not limited to murals, posters, room names, swag;
transphobic content, and in particular harm to the Black trans community;
language, misogyny, homophobia, hate speech, etc. as required;
We are employees, but we are members, too. We believe that this Company can and
must do better in our quest to entertain the world, and that the way forward must
include more diverse voices in order to avoid causing more harm. The Trans* ERG
looks forward to working with the Company to make this a better, more entertaining
place for us all.
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