Elliot Page speaks out in support of Netflix employee walkout over Dave Chappelle transphobia controversy

21 October 2021, 16:02 | Updated: 31 August 2022, 16:03

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

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Dan Levy, Jonathan Van Ness and Mae Martin have also shown support for Netflix's employee walkout.

Elliot Page has spoken out in support of Netflix employees who have staged a walkout in response to the transphobic comments made in Dave Chappelle's latest Netflix comedy special, The Closer.

The comedian received backlash for cracking jokes about transgender women, defending DaBaby and J.K. Rowling (who has made transphobic comments in the past) and saying he was on "Team TERF" (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist).

Although many Netflix employees called out the streaming giant, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos refused to remove the show from the platform in a company email. On Tuesday (Oct 19), Ted admitted he could have handled the situation with more "humanity" but ultimately he stood by his decision.

READ MORE: Elliot Page wears suit with powerful hidden meaning for first red carpet since coming out as trans

Elliot Page speaks out in support of Netflix employee walkout
Elliot Page speaks out in support of Netflix employee walkout. Picture: Richard Bord/Getty Images, @AshleeMPreston via Twitter

"What I should have led with in those emails was humanity. I should have recognised the fact that a group of our employees was really hurting," said Sarandos, reported by The Wall Street Journal.

"We have articulated to our employees that there are going to be things you don’t like. There are going to be things that you might feel are harmful. But we are trying to entertain a world with varying tastes and varying sensibilities and various beliefs, and I think this special was consistent with that."

In response, on Wednesday (Oct 20), Netflix employees walked out of the HQ in Los Angeles in protest. And now, Elliot Page, who came out as trans in December and stars in Netflix's The Umbrella Academy, has declared his support for trans employees on Twitter.

"I stand with the trans, nonbinary and BIPOC employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace," he tweeted, alongside a YouTube video which featured Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness, Pose actor Angelica Ross and more, who also showed their support for the participating Netflix employees.

Other stars who have supported the cause include Schitt's Creek actor Dan Levy, who recently signed a major deal with the streamer, and Feel Good star Mae Martin. In an Instagram post, Dan said: "I stand with every employee at Netflix using their voice to ensure a safe and supportive work environment.

"I’ve seen first-hand how vital television can be when it comes to influencing the cultural conversation. That impact is real and works both ways: positively AND negatively. Transphobia is unacceptable and harmful. That isn’t a debate."

Meanwhile, Mae Martin, also said on Instagram: "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.

"As a trans/non-binary person who works with Netflix this has been a true bummer, but I’m hopeful for positive and thoughtful reflection moving forward. And los, am I right? Remember lols?"

Listen to ‘Coming Out Chats’ with Lawrence Chaney and Victoria Scone

This week on the ‘Coming Out Chats’ podcast, Drag Race UK stars Lawrence Chaney and Victoria Scone talk coming out to their families, how they dealt with bullying at school, the lack of representation for younger queer women, and prejudices against plus sized people in the LGBTQ community. Click the picture below to listen and subscribe.

Lawrence Chaney and Victoria Scone
Lawrence Chaney and Victoria Scone. Picture: PopBuzz