Skip to main content

Netflix trans employees and allies release a list of demands ahead of the walkout

Netflix trans employees and allies release a list of demands ahead of the walkout

/

Taking down the Dave Chappelle special isn’t one of them

Share this story

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The trans employee resource group at Netflix has released a list of demands for the company ahead of Wednesday’s walkout. “We want the company to adopt measures in the areas of content investment, employee relations and safety, and harm reduction, all of which are necessary to avoid future instances of platforming transphobia and hate speech,” employees wrote in a press release, which has not yet been made public but was supplied to The Verge.

The news comes after weeks of controversy due to Netflix executives continuing to support Dave Chappelle and his comedy special The Closer, which many LGBTQ people and allies have criticized as transphobic.

Last week, Netflix fired a leader of the trans ERG who was helping to organize the walkout. The company said this worker had leaked confidential information. Internally, that reasoning has been disputed.

While the conversation has become mired in a “culture wars” dispute over censorship and hate speech, none of the demands involve taking down the comedy special. Employees want Netflix to allow the trans ERG to take on a bigger role in internal conversations surrounding potentially harmful content, hire trans and nonbinary executives, and eliminate imagery of transphobic content in the office.

Read the full letter from Netflix employees below:

Over the past few weeks, it has become clear that there are many places where Netflix

still has to grow when it comes to content relating to the trans and non-binary

community. The Trans* Employee Resource Group, which includes trans and

non-binary colleagues as well as our numerous allies, wants Netflix to immediately take

the steps below to begin to repair the relationship between the Company, our

colleagues, and our audience. Specifically, we want the Company to adopt measures

in the areas of Content Investment, Employee Relations and Safety, and Harm

Reduction, all of which are necessary to avoid future instances of platforming

transphobia and hate speech, and to account for the harm we have caused and will

continue to cause until the below measures are put in place.

Content Investment

  • Create a new fund to specifically develop trans and non-binary talent

○ This fund should support both above-the-line (ATL) and below-the-line

(BTL) talent;

○ This fund should exist in addition to the existing Creative Equity Fund;

  • Increase investment in trans and non-binary content on Netflix comparable to

our total investment in transphobic content, including marketing and

promotion;

  • Invest in multiple trans creators to make both scripted and unscripted programs

across genres;

  • Revise internal processes on commissioning and releasing potential harmful

(“sensitive”) content, including but not limited to involving parties who are a

part of the subject community and can speak to potential harm, or consulting

with 3rd party experts/vendors;

  • Increase the ERG role in conversations around potentially harmful content and

ensure we have best in class regional support on complicated intersectional

diversity issues;

  • Hire trans and non-binary content executives, especially BIPOC, in leading

positions;

Employee Relations and Safety

  • Recruit trans people, especially BIPOC, for leadership roles in the company

(Director, VP, etc.) and promote an inclusive environment for them;

  • Allow employees to remove themselves from previous company promotional

content (e.g. allyship and diversity videos, etc.);

  • Eliminate references/imagery of transphobic titles or talent inside of the

workplace, including but not limited to murals, posters, room names, swag;

Harm Reduction

  • Acknowledge the harm and Netflix’s responsibility for this harm from

transphobic content, and in particular harm to the Black trans community;

  • Add a disclaimer before transphobic titles that specifically flag transphobic

language, misogyny, homophobia, hate speech, etc. as required;

  • Boost promotion for Disclosure and other trans-affirming titles in the platform;
  • Suggest trans-affirming content alongside and after content flagged as

anti-trans.

We are employees, but we are members, too. We believe that this Company can and

must do better in our quest to entertain the world, and that the way forward must

include more diverse voices in order to avoid causing more harm. The Trans* ERG

looks forward to working with the Company to make this a better, more entertaining

place for us all.

Sincerely-

Trans* Netflix