Two transgender Netflix employees have filed labor complaints against the streaming service, claiming that the company retaliated against them for speaking out and organizing a protest against comedian Dave Chappelle’s controversial new special.
Prosecutors filed Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board claim that B. Pagels-Minor – who identifies himself as non-binary – was fired on “false and pretext grounds” after Pagels-Minor and Terra Field organized a walkout at the company’s headquarters on October 20, according to the complaint, obtained by USA Today.
Field was then “subjected to retaliation and threats” for speaking out against Pagels-Minor’s firing in a viral Twitter thread.
“This indictment is not just about B. and Terra, and it’s not about Dave. It’s about trying to change the culture and have an impact on others,” employees’ lawyer Laurie Burgess said in a statement. “The indictment is all about “It’s about supporting your colleagues and speaking out for things you care about.”
The streaming service has denied that its actions were retaliatory actions.
“We recognize the wounds and pain our trans colleagues have inflicted over the past few weeks. But we want to make it clear that Netflix has not taken any action against employees for either resigning or leaving,” a Netflix spokesman said. Friday in a statement to USA TODAY.
Chapelle took several shots at the trans community in her new special “The Closer,” which sparked an immediate backlash in which many condemned the veteran cartoon as hateful and transphobic.
Chapelle said last week that he is willing to meet with the employees who organized the strike, but he said no one from the company has reached out to sit down and have a discussion.