Organizers of a planned walkout this week at Netflix of the streamers’ trans employees said Monday that they will present a list of “firm asks” to company co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos and are working on a public service announcement supporting their cause that includes participation from Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness, upcoming She-Hulk star Jameela Jamil, Sara Ramirez, Angelica Ross, TS Madison, Eureka O’Hara and Colton Haynes.
The news comes in a social media post outlining details of the Wednesday 10:30 a.m. PT walkout at Netflix’s Epic Building headquarters in Hollywood, spurred by backlash over transphobic comments in Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix stand-up special The Closer.
The fallout has included three Netflix staffers suspended (and ultimately reinstated) for crashing a virtual executive meeting about the blowback, and the firing of a longtime employee who leaked confidential financial information related to the special, which debuted October 5.
Organizers said the “Stand-Up in Solidarity” walkout organized by Ashlee Marie Preston will feature “artivists/creators, grassroots organizers, public figures and supporters spanning multiple communities who are are coming together to underscore the importance of responsible content offerings that prioritize the safety and dignity of all marginalized communities.”
The group’s leaders also said that a PSA is in the works that includes talent names that have content on Netflix including There is also a PSA underway that includes Queer Eye star Van Ness. Previously, artists that have worked with Netflix including Hannah Gadsby and former Dear White People co-showrunner Jaclyn Moore have criticized the company for its stance defending the special.
In The Closer, Chappelle made several references about the trans and other LGBTQ+ communities included ones about the genitalia of trans women and the apparent rights one oppressed group in America has gained over another. “In our country, you can shoot and kill a [n-word], but you better not hurt a gay person’s feelings,” he says.
Near the end, Chappelle says “I am not telling another joke about you until we are both sure that we are laughing together,” Chappelle says. “All I ask from your community – with all humility – will you please stop punching down on my people?”
Sarandos and Netflix have defended Chappelle and vowed to not pull The Closer despite calls to do so by the likes of GLAAD and the National Black Justice Coalition.
“You should … be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do,” Sarandos wrote in a memo to staff October 11. “We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line.