"Transphobia is unacceptable and harmful."
Several Canadian celebrities are lending their support to Netflix employees who have recently spoken out against Dave Chappelle's controversial new comedy special, in which he makes remarks about the transgender community.
On Wednesday, October 20, Schitt's Creek star Dan Levy posted a statement on Twitter in solidarity with staff members of the streaming giant, many of whom were demonstrating during a rally in California the same day.
"I stand with every employee at Netflix using their voice to ensure a sage and supportive work environment," he wrote. "I've seen firsthand how vital television can be when it comes to influencing the cultural conversation. The impact is real and works both ways: positively AND negatively. Transphobia is unacceptable and harmful. That isn't a debate."
According to social media posts, several employees walked out on October 20 and a rally was held to share a list of asks and demands for Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos.
"We shouldn't have to show up quarterly/annually to push back against harmful content that negatively impacts vulnerable communities," read a post from Ashlee Marie Preston, who appeared to be an organizer of the rally. "Instead, we aim to use this moment to shift the social ecology around what Netflix leadership deems ethical entertainment while establishing policies and guidelines that protect employees and consumers, alike.
And Canadian actor Mae Martin also lent their voice to the conversation on Instagram saying that they stand with Netflix employees.
"I don't think it's very difficult to be funny without ridiculing marginalised groups and contributing to a culture of transphobia that directly results in disproportionate levels of violence, suicide, and discrimination," they wrote. "As a trans/non-binary person who works with Netlfix this has been a true bummer, but I'm hopeful for positive and thoughtful reflection moving forward."