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Tipsheet

Transgender Netflix Employees Sue Company Over Alleged Retaliation Stemming from Chappelle Controversy

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Two transgender Netflix employees have filed labor complaints against the company for allegedly retaliating against them after they criticized comedian Dave Chappelle's special, "The Closer," and staged a walk-out in protest against it.

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The lawsuit was filed Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board and claims that B. Pagels-Minor, who identifies as non-binary, had her employment terminated by Netflix under "false and pretextual reasons" after Pagels-Minor and Terra Field organized a walkout at the company’s headquarters earlier this month, according to the complaint, according to USA TODAY.

Field was also "subjected to retaliation and threats" after posting a Twitter thread slamming the streaming service for firing Pagels-Minor.

"This charge is not just about B. and Terra, and it’s not about Dave. It’s about trying to change the culture and having an impact for others," the employees’ attorney, Laurie Burgess, said in a statement. "The charge is all about collective action. It’s about supporting your coworkers and speaking up for things you care about."

Netflix denied assertions that its firings were executed in retaliation.

"We recognize the hurt and pain caused to our trans colleagues over the last few weeks," a Netflix spokesperson said in a Friday statement. "But we want to make clear that Netflix has not taken any action against employees for either speaking up or walking out."

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This comes after Chappelle upset the transgender community by stating in his special that "gender is a fact" and defending author J.K. Rowling, who was previously canceled for tweets made about sex and gender.

The comedian said earlier this week that he is willing to meet with the transgender community but that nobody had reached out for a discussion.

"If they had invited me, I would have accepted it, although I'm confused about what we're speaking about," Chappelle said. "I said what I said, and, boy, I heard what you said. Oh, my God. How could I not?"

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