Gaming Reviews, News, Tips and More.
We may earn a commission from links on this page

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

Frustration over Chappelle’s special isn’t about offense, it’s about risk

We may earn a commission from links on this page.
A photo from the Netflix walkout. Employees and supporters hold picket signs with the words "TEAM TRANS."
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 Chappelle 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 Chappelle special being taken down.)

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