Netflix employees coming out have the backing of Jonathan Van Ness, Elliot Page and other Netflix stars


Hundreds of Netflix employees left the company’s Los Angeles office at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, leaving work to protest the platform’s controversial Dave Chappelle special. Not only does the streaming platform employ office workers, but also stars. And some on-camera Netflix employees have taken a stand as well.

The walkout was organized by activists from “Team Trans” who believe Chappelle’s comedy special is transphobic. “Team Trans” was made up of members of Netflix’s trans employee resource group, according to protest organizer Ashlee Marie Preston.

Preston, a trans activist who founded a nonprofit that fights food insecurity, not only helped mobilize the protesters but also gathered messages of love and support from several celebrities who couldn’t be present at the event. She compiled their posts in a video shared on Instagram.

Jonathan Van Ness, one of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” stars, appeared in the video alongside several other members of the LGBTQ + community.

“I send you so much gratitude for the work you continually do to create a fair and just world and ultimately achieve the liberation of LGTBQ,” said Van Ness. Van Ness described himself in a 2019 interview with Out Magazine like “non-binary” and “genderqueer”.

“American Horror Story” actor Colton Haynes, who is gay, thanked the protesters “not just for the job you do today, but for the constant damn marathon you have to run just to make sure that there is a safe workplace, safe content and speaking. ” He also appears in “Arrow,” available on Netflix.

Jameela Jamil, who appears on “The Good Place,” which is on Netflix, said in the video that she is sending “love and support” to those who “took a big risk” by protesting.

Mason Alexander Park, a non-binary actor who stars in Netflix’s “The Sandman” and “Cowboy Bebop”, said in the video that they were proud of the protesters who showed up and the actor is “there in spirit” .

After the video and the protest grabbed attention, another Netflix affiliate joined us. “I stand with Netflix’s trans, non-binary and BIPOC employees who are fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace.” Elliot Page wrote, sharing the video on Twitter.

Page, who stars in Netflix’s “Umbrella Academy” came out as a trans Last year.

Jaclyn Moore, producer of Netflix’s “Dear White People,” also shared her support for the protest – after saying earlier this month that she was professionally protesting Netflix. “I will not work with them as long as they continue to broadcast and enjoy clearly and dangerously transphobic content,” he added. she said in a tweet.

On Wednesday, she said she was standing with those participating in the walkout. “I’m glad that after several dismissive statements, Netflix is ​​finally acknowledging that they have work to do. I can’t wait to see how these words turn into action,” she tweeted.

Preston’s video also featured several other stars who appear on Netflix, including “American Horror Story” actress Angelica Ross, who is a trans activist, and “Grey’s Anatomy” actress Sara Ramirez, who is not binary.

While promoting the protest on Instagram, Preston wrote, “We shouldn’t have to show up quarterly / annually to tackle harmful content that negatively impacts vulnerable communities. Instead, we aim to use this moment to change the social ecology around what Netflix management considers ethical entertainment, while establishing policies and guidelines that protect employees and consumers. “

Chappelle signed a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix for three promotions. Earlier this month, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said the latest special, titled “The Closer,” did not cross “the line of hate.”

Sarandos said so would remain on the streaming service, despite the fallout, and in an internal memo obtained by Variety, told managers that “some talent” could join with third parties to demand the show’s takedown.

The company also responded to reports it had suspended three employees, including one, Terra Field, who criticized Chappelle’s special in the tweets. Field identifies on Twitter as a senior software engineer at Netflix and as a trans.

“It is absolutely wrong to say that we have suspended employees for tweeting about this show. Our employees are encouraged to openly disagree and we support their right to do so,” Netflix said in a statement. .

This week, Sarandos went back on his initial remarks, saying he had mismanaged the controversy by failing to communicate better with his employees and detractors.

“Obviously I messed up this internal communication,” Sarandos said. Variety one day before the walkout. “I did it and messed up in two ways. First and foremost, I should have led with a lot more humanity. It meant I had a group of employees who definitely felt like it. pain and grief because of a decision we made. And I think that needs to be recognized up front before I go into the details of anything. I didn’t. “

During Wednesday’s walkout, Preston said Chappelle couldn’t suck the joy out of the moment.

“This is a time when we come together in a unified effort,” she said. “This is a time when we understand that this is one for all and all for one and we will not stop until justice is served.”

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