Netflix workers plan mass walkout over Dave Chappelle trans jokes

Comedian Dave Chappelle arrives to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, U.S., October 27, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
Comedian Dave Chappelle arrives to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, U.S., October 27, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

More than 1,000 employees were angered by jokes made by Chappelle in his new special, where he declared himself 'Team TERF' and said 'gender is fact'

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More than 1,000 Netflix employees are reportedly planning a mass walkout today over jokes made by comedian Dave Chappelle in his latest comedy special.

The US comedian is under fire from the LGBTQ community over jokes featured in his new Netflix special The Closer, where he labelled himself 'Team TERF' when discussing controversy around JK Rowling's comments on the transgender community - who has said “gender is a fact”.

Many of Netflix's staff in their Los Angeles office were angered by the special, criticising it as transphobic and harmful to the transgender community.

A Netflix employee was also sacked after allegedly leaking confidential financial data, as the streaming platform grapples with internal unrest over the special.

It said in a statement: “We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company.

“We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”

The confidential data is said to have appeared in a Bloomberg News article that reported Netflix spent 24.1 million dollars (£17.5 million) on The Closer and 23.6 million dollars (£17.1 million) on Chappelle’s 2019 special, Sticks & Stones.

Netflix reportedly allows staff to view data on the condition they do not share it publicly.

The company’s co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, has backed Chappelle.

He refused calls to pull The Closer from the service and said in an internal memo it did not cross “the line on hate”.

A number of Netflix stars has joined rank-and-file workers in criticising the company.

Jaclyn Moore, producer on the Netflix series Dear White People, said she would no longer work with the streamer “as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content”.

And Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby, whose 2018 special Nanette appeared on the platform, shared a strongly worded statement directed at Sarandos.

She wrote: “You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. F*** you and your amoral algorithm cult.”