Two transgender Netflix employees have filed labor complaints against the streaming service, claiming the company retaliated against them for speaking out and organizing a walk-out protest against comedian Dave Chappelle’s controversial new special.
The charges, filed Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board, allege that B. Pagels-Minor — who identifies as non-binary — was fired under “false and pretextual reasons” after Pagels-Minor and Terra Field organized a walkout at the company’s headquarters on Oct. 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 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.”
The streaming service has denied that its actions were retaliatory.
“We recognize the hurt and pain caused to our trans colleagues over the last few weeks. But we want to make clear that Netflix has not taken any action against employees for either speaking up or walking out,” a Netflix spokesperson said Friday in a statement to USA TODAY.
Chapelle took several shots at the trans community in his new special “The Closer,” sparking immediate backlash with many condemning the veteran comic as hateful and transphobic.
Chapelle said last week that he is willing to meet with the employees who organized the walkout, however he said no one from the company has reached out to sit down and have a discussion.