Netflix's Trans Employee Resource Group Release List of Demands Amid Walkout

The statement makes no direct mention of Dave Chappelle or his controversial comedy special

BY Kaelen BellPublished Oct 20, 2021

Netflix's trans employee resource group has released an official list of demands for the massive streamer, coinciding with today's employee walkout.

Despite the fact that the wider conversation about Netflix's treatment of trans employees and trans issues was sparked by Dave Chappelle's most recent multi-million dollar comedy special, the demands make no direct reference to The Closer nor Chappelle, and does not call for the removal of any content from Netflix. 

Their statement, which was provided to The Verge, reads in part:

"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." 

The demands listed centre more on making Netflix a more equitable, supportive working environment, asking that Netflix allow the trans ERG to take on a bigger internal role, have a say in regards to potentially harmful content, and eliminate imagery of transphobic content in the office.

Today's employee walkout, which took place outside Netflix's Los Angeles headquarters, was met with some counter-protesting from Chappelle supporters, as reported by Variety. Event organizer Ashlee Marie Preston claims that she and other organizers invited Chappelle to speak with them but the invitation was denied. 

"We're up against the emergence of a hate economy," said Preston. "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."

Below, you can check out a video from Preston and Team Trans* — including Jonathan Van Ness, Angelica Ross, Our Lady J, Jameela Jamil, Peppermint, and a whole lot of other people — standing in solidarity with Netflix's trans and LGBTQ+ employees. 

You can also read the full list of demands from Netflix's trans ERG below, courtesy of Variety

Trans* ERG demands letter: 

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.


Trans* Netflix

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