Rose McGowan rails against Netflix employees for protesting Dave Chappelle's special: 'Fake activism'

Activists say Dave Chappelle's 'The Closer' is harmful to the transgender community

Rose McGowan is weighing in on the ongoing controversy surrounding Netflix and Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special.

The former "Charmed" actress took to Twitter on Thursday to criticize the streamer's "whiny" staffers who have spoken out against "The Closer," which saw the comedian make remarks that some viewed as offensive to the transgender community.

"Dear Whiny U.S. @Netflix Employees, I hear your feelings got hurt by Dave Chapelle & upset @JoeRogan didn’t get your fancy schools language memo. P--- off you brats. Enough of your fake activism & obnoxious self-importance," her fiery tweet reads.

McGowan doesn't exactly appear to be on Netflix's side, however. In a second tweet, she hits at the streamer for an apparent upcoming documentary about Julian Assange, which she blasted as "fake."


Rose McGowan unleashed fury at Netflix staffers for complaining about Dave Chappelle's controversial comedy special ‘The Closer,' that left members of the transgender community irate. (Mathieu Bitton/Netflix/Rena Laverty/AFP/Getty Images)

"Do any of you twerps even know your paycheck comes from the deeply corrupt? Your bosses are DOJ/CIA stooges in on smearing Assange in a fake documentary meant to misinform. You little Taylors risk NOTHING. It is Zero Hour. Get real or f--- off. Right now it’s about facts not your f---ing feelings," McGowan continued.

McGowan did not include the name of the Assange documentary, but it appears she's referring to one titled "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" from 2013. According to reports, the streamer plans to make it available for streaming later this month.

Representatives for Netflix did not immediately return Fox Business' request for comment.


McGowan's tweets were posted after a protest took place outside of a Netflix office in Los Angeles on Wednesday. 

People rally in support of the Netflix transgender employee walkout in Los Angeles, California on October 20, 2021.  (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Protesters held signs with the phrases "Trans lives matter" and "Transphobia is not a joke" among others, getting pushback from counterprotesters who also showed up. There were a few moments of shoving and pushing among the competing demonstrators, but the conflict was mostly limited to a war of words.

The scheduled walkout was planned by Netflix employees seeking to highlight their objections to the comedy special and the company's handling of it.

"brb walking out," Most, the streaming service's LGBTQ-themed social media, wrote in a tweet Wednesday.


Other Netflix stars voiced their support of the walkout on social media as well. 

Elliot Page, who stars in Netflix’s "The Umbrella Academy" and is transgender, tweeted that he stands with the trans, nonbinary and people of color working at Netflix who are "fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace."

Netflix bosses braced for the employee walkout and rally in Los Angeles as anger swelled over a new Dave Chappelle comedy special that activists say is harmful to the transgender community. The streaming giant has found itself embroiled in an intense (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"Schitt's Creek" creator, writer, actor, and director Dan Levy also posted a message of solidarity on Twitter. He signed a multiple-year overall film and TV deal with Netflix in September 2021. 

Levy wrote, "I stand with every employee at Netflix using their voice to ensure a safe and supportive work environment. I’ve seen firsthand how vital television can be when it comes to influencing the cultural conversation. That impact is real and works both ways: positively AND negatively. Transphobia is unacceptable and harmful. That isn’t a debate."

Ashlee Marie Preston, an activist and the event's organizer, addressed the rally and spoke to The Associated Press afterward. She said that calling out Chappelle for his remarks wasn’t enough.

"It was important to shift the focus to the people that sign the checks, because Dave Chappelle doesn’t sign checks, Netflix does," Preston said. "If we have companies like Netflix who aren’t listening to their employees, who are forcing their employees to participate in their own oppression, that’s unacceptable."


Earlier on Wednesday, Team Trans(asterisk), which identifies itself as supporting "trans people working at Netflix trying to build a better world for our community," posted what it called a list of "asks" being made of Netflix by trans and nonbinary workers and allies at the company.

Dave Chappelle is being criticized by many in the LGBTQ+ community for comments he made about transgender people.  (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

They are calling on the company to "repair" its relationships with staff and the audience with changes involving the hiring of trans executives and increased spending on trans and nonbinary creators and projects.

Netflix ran into a buzz-saw of criticism not only with the special but in how internal memos responded to employees' concerns, including co-CEO Ted Sarandos' assertion that "content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm."

In interviews Tuesday, Sarandos said he failed to recognize that "a group of our employees was really hurting," as he told The Wall Street Journal, and that his comment about the effect of TV on viewers was an oversimplification.

A spokesperson for Netflix told Fox Business before the walkout, "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."

Fox Business' Jessica Napoli and The Associated Press contributed to this report.