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The Netflix employee walkout is happening now outside Netflix's Los Angeles headquarters in protest over Dave Chappelle's comedy special.

Hundreds of employees walked out of Netflix's headquarters on Wednesday, Oct. 20. The protesters are angry over Chappelle's transgender jokes in his comedy special The Closer.
 

 

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"Transphobia is not a joke," said Ashlee Marie Preston (pictured), who organized the walkout.

"We're up against the emergence of hate economy. And there is this manipulation of algorithmic science that distorts the way that we perceive ourselves and others. And I think that companies like Netflix, Facebook, and Instagram, they play into it, and they monetize on it. And so I think that this is important to show up today."

Preston invited Chappelle to meet with them before the walkout, but he refused.

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Chappelle's transgender supporters tried to disrupt the protest.

Counter protesters held up signs reading "Jokes Are Funny," and "Netflix Don't Cancel Free Speech."

"We are protesting this walkout. They have the right to do it, but we have the right to standup for Dave Chappelle and his freedom of expression," said Gigi LaRoux, a transgender Chappelle supporter.

"This boils down to equality, and if people want equality they need to be put on the same level as anybody else. Comedians are equal opportunity destroyers. You can't pick and choose who you're going to make fun of."

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos walked back memos he sent to staff in support of Chappelle.

"I can tell you I screwed up those two communications, but my stance hasn't changed," Sarandos said in a phone interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Sarandos said he should have acknowledged that "a group of our employees were in pain" and "hurt" by the company's decision to air the special.

"I'd say those emails lacked humanity, in which I like to and I do generally communicate with our teams," he added.
 

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A group of Netflix transgender employees plan to strike next week in protest of Dave Chappelle's "The Closer" comedy special.

Netflix has lifted the suspension of three employees, including a male-to-female transgender, who protested Chappelle's comedy special on social media.

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Netflix software engineer Terra Field, an MtF transgender, has been reinstated along with two other employees.

Prior to the suspension, Field wrote a lengthy Twitter thread on Oct. 9, complaining about Chappelle's Netflix special.

The three employees were suspended for crashing an annual directors meeting to complain about Chappelle at the company headquarters in San Francisco.

Netflix invites 500 top employees to the annual meeting, but Field and the other two workers were not invited.

Field tweeted the reinstatement notice on Tuesday.

"Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn't think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting."

Field added, "At the very least, I feel vindicated."

A transgender employee resource group at Netflix plans to walk off the job on October 20th to protest statements made by Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos regarding Chappelle.

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Sarandos, pictured with his wife Nicole Avant, denied suspending the three employees for complaining about Chappelle.

Sarandos added he will not pull Chappelle's comedy special off the air.

In an internal memo, the trans resource group ERG wrote:

"Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter. And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content. We can and must do better!"