Employees protested the streaming media giant’s handling of the controversy surrounding Dave Chapel’s recent comedy special “The Closer.”
The comedian made a joke during the historic year of anti-transgender legislation, which was introduced in at least 33 states and has a record number of transgender people (most of whom are transgender women of color) Less than a year after being killed.
Netflix employees and organizers who call themselves Team Trans* have arranged a gathering near the company’s Los Angeles office. They plan to get together and submit a “question list” to co-chief content officer Ted Sarandos.
“I messed up internal communication,” Sarandos told the publication. “I did this, and I messed up in two ways. First, I should lead with more humanity. This means that I have a group of employees who will definitely feel pain and hurt by the decisions we make . And I think you need to acknowledge this before you get into the details of anything. I didn’t do it. It’s unusual for me, and it’s progressing fast, we’re trying to answer some very specific questions. Floating. . We have dropped something more general and factual, but it is not accurate at all.”
“We firmly believe that the content on the screen will not translate into harm in the real world,” Sarandos wrote.
CNN has not independently verified emails from Sarandos. In an interview with CNN last week, a Netflix spokesperson said: “We encourage employees to object openly, and we support their right to do so.”
LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD expressed concern about Chappelle’s comment “The Closer” and overturned Sarandos’s position in the notes to employees.
“GLAAD was established 36 years ago because media representatives have an impact on LGBTQ people. Real media reports on LGBTQ life are believed to be the direct cause of increasing public support for issues such as marriage equality,” GLAAD told CNN last week. Said in a statement. “But for decades, movies and TV have also been flooded with stereotypes and misinformation about us, causing harm to the real world, especially for transgender and LGBTQ people of color. Ironically, the documentary on Netflix The “Disclosure” clearly shows this.”
Comedian Hannah Gazbi also criticized Sarandos’s response, and Sarandos cited her own Netflix special.
A Netflix spokesperson said: “We understand that this employee may have been motivated by being disappointed and hurt by Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is at the core of our company.”
Scottie Andrew and Lisa France of CNN contributed to this story.
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