Welcome to this week’s dispatch from the lesbian internet, a mid-week news roundup from Paging Dr. Lesbian. If you like this type of thing, subscribe, and share it with your friends!
There’s been a lot of drama on the internet these past couple of weeks, so let’s get right into it. Earlier this month, Dave Chapelle released his latest comedy special, The Closer, in which he espouses a lot of transphobic rhetoric. Following the release of the special, Netflix suspended an employee who voiced criticism of the special and subsequently attended a meeting she wasn’t invited to. (She’s since been reinstated). Last week, Netflix did actually fire an employee – who is black and trans – allegedly for organizing a trans walkout.
Amidst all this controversy, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos made a series of asinine comments defending the Chapelle special, stating that at Netflix they believe “content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” (Sarandos later admitted he “screwed up”). I could go on about how wrong this statement is, but the proof is literally on Netflix itself. Remember that documentary called Disclosure (which was distributed but not produced by Netflix) that argued how damaging trans representation has been to trans people? Or when Netflix decided to put a suicide warning on 13 Reasons Why after concerns it would encourage suicide? Sarandos then dragged queer comedians like Hannah Gadsby into the conversation, to which Gadsby responded – don’t bring me into this!
While all of this was happening, another debate emerged surrounding the Netflix Twitter account Most. Most is an account run by queer and trans employees at Netflix that is meant to represent the “queer voice” of Netflix. (Similar to how Strong Black Lead is meant to represent the “black voice” of Netflix). During the Chapelle controversy, Most did not tweet for several days. When they finally returned, it was with a series of alternatively sincere and cheeky tweets, beginning with “sorry we haven’t been posting, this week fucking sucks,” and ending with “ok you can go back to yelling at us now.” Not to mention the strange, overly familiar tone of these tweets, this whole debacle illustrates the false promises of corporate (in)authenticity and the danger of putting your faith in a corporation like Netflix at all. For more on this, check out this piece in Mic. Today, Wednesday, trans employees will be staging a walkout (the same walkout Netflix allegedly fired an employee for organizing). Ahead of the walkout, they released a list of demands concerning content investment, employee relations, and harm reduction. Read them here.
Also this week, Daniel Craig said he prefers to frequent gay bars over straight ones because he doesn’t “get into fights in gay bars that often.” This is hilarious in part because Craig’s wife, the illustrious Rachel Weisz, is also frequently found saying suspiciously fruity things. Anyways, I truly wish them both the best.
Monday night was the premiere of the new Marvel movie Eternals, and Angelina Jolie, one of the film’s stars, walked the red carpet. What made this red carpet special was that she brought along five of her kids to walk with her. Even more adorably, some internet sleuths discovered that her daughter Zahara (pictured on the far right) is wearing a dress that Angelina wore to the Oscars several years ago. Wholesome! In unrelated news, lesbian astronaut Sally Ride is going to be on the quarter! You go, girl.
If you haven’t noticed, there have been a lot of strikes going on lately. If you need more info, check out this piece in Teen Vogue on how to support striking workers. For more direct ways to help, check out these strike funds. The John Deere fund is currently closed as they are distributing funds. Hear from John Deere workers themselves here. Be gay, do crime, and don’t cross the picket line!
That’s all for this week, folks! Stay tuned for next week, and be sure to support one another out there. I will leave you with this, because it’s definitely the season for Evan Rachel Wood’s sapphic Vampire Queen of Louisiana (via Godimsuchadyke).