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Netflix Staff Raised Concerns About Chappelle Special Before Its Release

The company is dealing with an internal outcry unprecedented in its history. 

Dave Chappelle in “The Closer.”

Dave Chappelle in “The Closer.”

Source: Netflix

Netflix Inc. employees raised concerns about offensive material in Dave Chappelle’s new comedy special “The Closer” days before its release, warning executives that a series of jokes about gender-neutral pronouns and the genitalia of transgender people was potentially inflammatory and damaging. 

The company’s leaders, including global head of TV Bela Bajaria and co-Chief Executive Officer Ted Sarandos, decided the show didn't cross the line, sparking Netflix’s most significant public labor dispute in recent memory. Employees have taken their grievances to internal forums and Twitter; at least three were suspended for crashing a meeting, then reinstated following outcry. Now the company is planning to host an internal event with trans activist Alok Vaid-Menon; meanwhile, employees are planning a walkout on Oct. 20.