Netflix Left Off HRC Foundation’s LGBTQ+ Corporate Equality Report Because Of Handling Of Dave Chappelle SpecialJanuary 30, 2022
Netflix was left out of an annual index of corporation’s inclusive policies and practices for LGBTQ+ workers, as the HRC Foundation cited how the company handled the release of the Dave Chappelle special The Closer.
The Corporate Equality Index is an annual rating of hundreds of companies.
“Given the harm experienced by transgender workers at Netflix as a result of the company’s handling of the release of The Closer, HRC has suspended Netflix’s Corporate Equality Index score and will not be rewarding it with a ‘Best Places to Work’ distinction in the 2022 CEI,” HRC said in the report. “HRC and Netflix are having productive conversations about steps the company could take to demonstrate it is acting in a manner consistent with the values of workplace equality an inclusion and to improve trust among their employees and the public.”
But a Netflix spokesperson said that they “respectfully disagree with HRC’s decision.”
“While we have more work to do, we’ve made real strides on inclusion, including for our LGBTQ+ colleagues. For example, we offer comprehensive transgender and non-binary-inclusive care in our U.S. health plans as well as adoption, surrogacy and parental leave for same-sex couples. And we’ve also worked hard to increase representation on screen. Netflix is the only major entertainment company to have commissioned and published independent research into diversity in our content so that we can better measure our progress.”
Netflix had in recent years had a perfect score, something that earns a best places to work recognition.
Netflix’s release of Chappelle’s special drew in October criticism for the comedian’s jokes and comments about the transgender community. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos apologized for internal emails he initially sent defending the special, telling Deadline that “I feel I should’ve made sure to recognize that a group of our employees was hurting very badly from the decision made, and I should’ve recognized upfront before going into a rationalization of anything the pain they were going through.”
Netflix also issued a statement as employees held a walkout in protest.
“We value our trans colleagues and allies, and understand the deep hurt that’s been caused. We respect the decision of any employee who chooses to walk out, and recognize we have much more work to do both within Netflix and in our content.”
Netflix was not the only company excluded from the index. Activation Blizzard also was left off the list because of “ongoing concerns about and the extent of litigation against Activision Blizzard regarding workplace equality and safety for women and the LGBTQ+ community,” the HRC Foundation said. The organization also said that they have “had productive conversations” with the company “about workplace policies and practices that will ensure that its workplace is continuing to improve in the areas of workplace equality, inclusion and safety.” NBC News first reported on the company exclusion from the index.
The Chappelle special was recently nominated for Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America awards.
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