TOPLINE As Netflix employees staged a walk-out in LA on Wednesday to protest the controversial Dave Chapelle comedy special — and the company’s defense of it — some of the streaming giant’s biggest stars showed their solidarity with protesters, including trans actor Eliot Page.
Page, who stars on Netflix’s superhero series Umbrella Academy,tweeted that he stands with “the trans, nonbinary, and BIPOC employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace.”
Dan Levy, whose show Schitt’s Creek streams on the service, tweeted that “transphobia is unacceptable” and that he stands with the Netflix employees protesting for “a safe and supportive work environment.”
Billy Eichner, who was featured in the Netflix series Friends From College and whose former show Billy On The Street streams on the platform, shared attendance information about the walk-out and said he is “sending my love and full support” to those participating in the walk-out.
Tuesday, several celebrities were featured in a video about and in support of the walk-out, including Angelica Ross, whose shows Pose and American Horror Story are streaming on the platform, Jonathan Van Ness, who stars in Netflix’s Queer Eye and Jameela Jamil, whose series The Good Place is available on the site.
Sara Ramirez, a nonbinary actor whose former show Grey’s Anatomy is streaming on Netflix used Twitter to publicise the walk-out and spread information about it.
Joey Soloway, who created the Amazon Prime series Transparent, spoke at Wednesday’s rally and requested that a trans person be put on the Netflix board, according to a Deadline reporter
Chapelle’s “The Closer” was released earlier this month and met with almost immediate controversy over comments Chapelle made about trans people. Several employees who had spoken up against the special were suspended for attending a meeting they weren’t supposed to and were later reinstated. Another employee, a leader of the walkout, was fired for allegedly leaking sensitive information. On Wednesday, Sarandos acknowledged that he “screwed up” by ignoring “the fact that a group of our employees was really hurting.” Still, the executive told Varietythe special will remain on the streaming service and that Chapelle’s comments do not fall into hate speech. An employee collective at Netflix called Trans*, organized Wednesday’s walk-out with the goals of having the company add an offensive language disclaimer to “The Closer,” acknowledge the harm the company caused the trans community, internally review the process for putting out “potentially harmful” content, and create a fund to support trans and nonbinary talent.