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The weeks-long struggle inside Netflix comes to a head today, as company employees are expected to step down, demanding that the company better support its trans and non-binary employees.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos did not respond directly to walkout in new post the Wall Street newspaper maintenance, but said, “I am firmly committed to continuing to support artistic freedom for creators who work with Netflix and to increase representation behind screen and in front of the camera.”
The incident that prompted the employee to take action may have been the company’s handling of Dave Chappelle’s new special, The closest, which contains some jokes at the expense of transgender people. But B. Pagels-Minor says the dispute runs deeper.
Pagels-Minor is the employee Netflix recently fired, alleging he disclosed “confidential and commercially sensitive information” outside the company. The company says the data made its way into a Bloomberg article revealing data on various metrics and spending – details the notoriously low-key company generally keeps under wraps.
“I collected the data, but I did not disclose the data,” said Pagels-Minor, who spoke to NPR. They said they shared the information internally among their colleagues, but not with anyone outside the company, and added that when they were fired they were not given a chance to prove their case. .
“It was just like, ‘Hey, you’re the person. You’re gone, ”said Pagels-Minor.
In a statement, a Netflix spokesperson said that an anomaly in Pagels-Minor’s account remained unexplained and that they had erased their electronic devices, “making any further investigation impossible.”
Pagels-Minor – who started at Netflix as a senior manager of data products for membership engineering and finance, before working in the company’s game launch department – said there had no investigation to begin with.
Pagels-Minor co-led the employee resource group for transgender and non-binary employees, known as Trans *, and was part of a group for black employees, known as Black @. They said the walkout started as a proposal for a day when trans and non-binary employees would take paid time off due to exhaustion from Chappelle’s news cycle, with all other employees invited to join. them. But then Pagels-Minor found executives weren’t answering questions about the controversy and began organizing a full walkout, as well as drafting a list of employee demands.
A rally in support of the walkout is also scheduled today.
The list of demands, first reported by The Verge, includes hiring trans and non-binary people in leadership positions, creating a fund to support trans and non-binary talent, and adding clauses disclaimers “which specifically flag transphobic language, misogyny, homophobia, hate speech, etc. as needed.” It doesn’t ask for anything to be removed from the platform, nor does it mention Chappelle. This, it calls for the promotion of trans-affirming content alongside any content deemed anti-trans.
Such requests are part of a growing trend for white-collar workers in tech to talk about running their businesses, says Alan Hyde, professor of labor and employment law at Rutgers Law School and author of Working in Silicon Valley: Economic and Legal Analysis of a High Speed Labor Market.
“They want to have a say in what types of businesses their business does, what kind of corporate culture they have, who the customers are. So these are important requirements to motivate worker unrest over time. years, “Hyde said, pointing to Facebook, Apple and Google as recent examples.
The usual course of these actions, he explains, is that the employees make a lot of noise, the company can change a detail or two, and then things get back to normal. But in the context of this year, when there has been a huge increase in workforce activity at companies like John Deere, Kellogg and Kaiser Permanente, Hyde admits: “I’m not sure that we’ve seen this movie before. “