Hours before the planned walkout today of Netflix’s trans employees and their allies, the streamer issued a statement in support of the protest action.
“We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.”
Organizers of the walkout, scheduled for 10:30 AM today at Netflix’s Epic building headquarters in Hollywood, said Monday that they will present a list of “firm asks” to company co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos and are working on a public service announcement supporting their cause that includes participation from Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness, upcoming She-Hulk star Jameela Jamil, Sara Ramirez, Angelica Ross, TS Madison, Eureka O’Hara and Colton Haynes.
The walkout was spurred by backlash over transphobic comments in Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix stand-up special The Closer.
Netflix’s statement follows Sarandos’ interview with Deadline last night, in which he admitted that the internal reaction to the controversy was botched.
“I screwed up the internal communication — and I don’t mean just mechanically,” he said. “I feel I should’ve made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made, and I should’ve recognized upfront before going into a rationalization of anything the pain they were going through. I say that because I respect them deeply, and I love the contribution they have at Netflix. They were hurting, and I should’ve recognized that first.”