Netflix’s Trans Folk And Supporters Walked Out Today, So Stream Something Else Instead

Netflix’s Trans Folk And Supporters Walked Out Today, So Stream Something Else Instead
Photo: Rodin Eckenroth, Getty Images

Today, Netflix’s trans employees and allies are walking out after the company released, and heavily promoted, yet another transphobic Dave Chapelle special. This walkout is also accompanied by a list of demands from Netflix employees who are deeply unsatisfied with the current state of the company. These demands include increased investment in projects led by trans artists, a commitment to more diverse hiring practices, and disclaimers for transphobic content on the platform. (The group’s demands do not include the Chapelle special being taken down.)

There’s little point in taking Chapelle’s special down anyway. The Netflix walkouts are, as formerly suspended Netflix employee Terra Field said, not about offence. Despite how it is often framed by perpetrators, the negative response to transphobia is rarely about offence. Most of the time it is about disgust. Offence is not dangerous — disgust is.

To be an object of disgust is to be at risk of violence. People do not often think before crushing bugs after all — sometimes they do, and it is worse. Chapelle is, like many transphobes, consistently disgusted with trans people — our bodies and desires in particular.

Specials like this, which draw attention to our existence, supposed power, and the claimed wrongness of our bodies, make trans lives harder. With improved visibility of trans people throughout the media, our lives have become both more and less dangerous. Cis people are aware of our existence now, and those that hate us are actively searching for new bodies to direct their disgust toward. We are more visible, but perhaps the average person hates us less than they would’ve a few decades ago. We are less despised but easier to imagine.

Employee demands around content funding come from this reality. As it stands, trans people are becoming more visible without becoming proportionately less derided. Trans stories, and their normalization, fulfils both functions. They humanize us and make us so visible that we become, to borrow a phrase from Disco Elysium, another part of the “great see-through world.”

So instead of watching Netflix today, go find something made by a trans person…and then just be normal about it.


  • Best of luck to all trans people out there, but I really don’t care about your sexuality. I guess that’s the way you’d like the whole world to be?

  • Well said, Renata. It’s easy for folks who have never been part of a denigrated minority (myself included) to underestimate the danger that arises from being the target of disgust.
    As least, on average, people seem to be getting better about doing the ‘just be normal about it’ thing.

    • Give me documented evidence showing a single trans person that has been physically assaulted as a direct result of a single of Dave’s comedy specials.

      Ill wait.

      • What would that look like? Someone attacks a trans person and records themselves shouting ‘DAVE CHAPELLE MADE ME DO THIS’?

        You know that’s not how it works, dude. Expressions of disgust, like Reneta said, create an environment wherein the target group is dehumanised, and more likely to be attacked.

        If you want one of the rare examples where an attacker has indicated the influence of a media personality, you can look at the Christchurch mosque attacks where the shooter recorded himself saying ‘Subscribe to Pewdiepie’ before killing 51 people.

        • You claimed this special causes real world danger.

          I asked you to prove it with documented evidence showing a direct link between his specials and real world violence.

          You refused.

          ” you can look at the Christchurch mosque attacks where the shooter recorded himself saying ‘Subscribe to Pewdiepie’ before killing 51 people.”

          If you actually think pewdiepie in any way influenced the sub human into doing what he did you are just as subhuman as the shooter.

          • Yes – I, the person explaining why your arbitrary goal posts are stupidly positioned – am on the level of a mass murderer. This is a rational statement produced by a sound mind.

          • More rational than claiming pewdiepie is at fault for the Christchurch shooting.

            My mind is quite sound, Unlike yours where your frothing hatred of a YouTuber has led you to falsely blame him for a horrific event.

          • Also, I’m still waiting on the documented evidence that shows a link between Chappelle’s Netflix specials and real-world violence.

            Better get to it flying.

          • Oh man, that video he linked to is utter cringe. No wonder he spews dumb crap if he thinks that video is right on anything.

  • Yeah no thanks. You do you and I’ll do mine. Watched the Chappelle special that got Terra Field’s back up. Nothing wrong with what was said. Some people are just too sensitive for their own good. At least Terra has recognised the absurdity of demanding Chappelle’s special be taken down considering it said nothing wrong and is now just demanding general Trans demands from a workplace. Nothing wrong with that (assuming those rights aren’t there already), but there should NOT be special allowances be made JUsT for Trans people to get all those rights demanded, it should be a level playing field.

    • Its a great special, Especially the last part where he talks about Daphene, His very close trans friend who killed herself after being harassed by Trans activists, A part of the special some want to pretend doesnt exist.

      • I, too, was shocked and appalled when an article on Kotaku, a website known to be strictly apolitical and to deliberately avoid issues of social justice, turned out to be about social justice.
        Won’t somebody think of us poor gamers who have no choice but to keep coming here to get mad about all this gosh-darned wokeness?

        • Honestly I’m ok with all the trans news here, whatevs. I’ll go elsewhere for gaming news. I’m even pro trans for what it’s worth. I want people to be happy with whatever choice they make.
          It’s the aggression these articles are laden with, and demands like “Stream Something Else Instead” that pisses me off. I’ll watch whatever the fuck I want thanks. I don’t need someone telling me I need to apply more of my time to getting woke on trans content. I’m good in that department. Literally everywhere else is trying to force it in my feed… why? It’s trendy click bait and good for SEO. It’s disappointing because Kotaku used to be more gaming focused, and delivered facts, not opinions.
          Now it’s basically long form Twitter.

      • @Goretaam – Cheers for that. Might give that site a look in since Kotaku is getting ridiculous with their desperate efforts to find any reason to push social justice/woke reasoning into their articles any chance they get. Kotaku used to be PURELY about gaming, now it is just all over the shop, led by the pepetually offended Luke Plunkett. Kotaku needs to make a decision what they want to be and stick to it.

  • fully support their right to protest, even though i think their protest is moronic and setting their movement backwards. All of you have been the best free advertising for this special ever.

    • Also:

      “Specials like this, which draw attention to our existence, supposed power, and the claimed wrongness of our bodies, make trans lives harder.”

      No, Specials like this don’t make trans lives harder, Activists like the ones above make trans lives harder Because then everyone thinks this minority of trans people represents the entirety of trans people.

      I don’t have any proof of this of course, but based on my own experience a fair amount of trans people think these people are rabid idiots.

      You make trans lives harder, not us.

      • Oh haven’t you heard? You can make whatever claim you wish and need not provide any evidence. Just look at how some trans groups describe Trans people being murdered in numbers to rival non trans folks or how one deranged Trans activist even claims there is a “Genocide” on Trans people taking place. Of course none of them could provide neither police stats or proof any of their claims happened so DJBear, you say and do whatever you want, every one else is.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!