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Veteran comedian Dave Chappelle has said some pretty wild things during his longstanding comedy career — season 1 of Chappelle’s Show speaks for itself! — but no one could’ve expected the backlash he’s been facing since making disparaging jokes at the expense of transgender people in his new Netflix comedy special, The Closer.

Although many assumed the stand-up icon would stand firm on his comments, many were surprised that even Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos was supportive of the free speech as well. As a result, he may see a large portion of his staff stage a walk-out next week.


According to Okayplayer, as many as 1,000 employees have sent messages of concern to Netflix executives in protest of Chapelle’s viral comedy special for the insensitive remarks he made against the trans community. When Sarandos and Global head of TV Bela Bajaria decided to move forward with promo and release, it led to one employee suggesting a company-wide “day of rest” via a message on Slack sent to hundreds of other staff members.

More on how this has all played out so far over at Netflix HQ, via The Los Angeles Times:

“‘I encourage all [members of] Trans* and allies not to work for Netflix that day. … As we’ve discussed through Slack, email, texts and everything in between, our leadership has shown us that they do not uphold the values for which we are held,’ a Netflix employee posted Monday in a public company Slack channel comprising more than 800 staffers representing ‘gender minorities of all sorts and their allies,’ in a message reviewed by The Times.

‘Between the numerous emails and non-answers that have been given, we have been told explicitly that we somehow cannot understand the nuance of certain content. I don’t know about you, but asking for us to show the whole story and not just the pieces that harm trans and [LGBTQ+] people is not an unreasonable ask,’ the employee’s Slack statement continued.

‘So, I encourage us all to state clearly that we, as Netflix employees are stunning not simply when we are doing the work that our roles demand of us but also when we challenge the very principles of our company.’” 

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So far the walk-out is scheduled for October 20, and will include members of the Netflix employee resource group Trans* and their allies.

Do you think Dave is deserving of all this backlash, or are we simply living in a generation that can’t take a joke? Sound off!



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Netflix Employees Plan Walkout Over CEO’s Support For Dave Chappelle’s ‘The Closer’  was originally published on