Story at a glance:

  • A stand-up special by famed comedian Dave Chappelle has motivated some employees to walk out on Oct. 20 after criticisms that his special is transphobic.
  • Netflix denies that three employees were suspended for objecting to the special.
  • Celebrities such as Angelica Ross, Jonathan Van Ness, Jameela Jamil, Eureka O'Hara and Colton Haynes are supporting the walkout in a PSA.

A stand-up special by comedian Dave Chappelle has motivated some employees to walkout on Oct. 20 after criticisms that the special is transphobic and harmful to the LGBTQ+ community. And some Netflix stars are showing their support for the demonstration.

Angelica Ross, Jonathan Van Ness, Jameela Jamil, Eureka O'Hara and Colton Haynes are among those who will be featured in a PSA directed at Netflix's co-CEO Ted Sarandos after he sided with Chappelle's latest special "The Closer" as acceptable content, Variety reported.


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“While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn't directly translate to real-world harm," Sarandos wrote in a company-wide email last week.

In response to the email and the special, on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. at Netflix's EPIC building in Hollywood, activist Ashlee Marie Preston led a rally of creators, grassroots organizers, and public figures.

The purpose of the rally is "to underscore the importance of responsible content offerings that prioritize the safety and dignity of all marginalized communities," Preston said.

As The Hill previously reported, Netflix denies that it suspended one employee for calling the jokes harmful. The three employees were said to have been suspended for attending a meeting among company leaders that they weren't invited to.

On Oct. 12, Variety states that the three got reinstated after finding that they did not join the meeting with malice. However, three days later, an employee shared "commercially sensitive information" to Bloomberg, causing that person to be terminated.

Wednesday's rally featured a list of grievances.

"We shouldn't have to show up annually to push back against harmful content that negatively impacts vulnerable communities," the Instagram announcement reads. "Instead, we aim to use this moment to shift the social ecology around what Netflix leadership deems ethical entertainment, while establishing policies and guidelines that protect employees and consumers, alike."


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Published on Oct 19, 2021