Rose McGowan attends the Q Awards 2019 at The Roundhouse on 16 October 2019 in London, England. (Jo Hale/Redferns)
Rose McGowan has drawn criticism for her controversial take on the backlash surrounding Netflix and Dave Chappelle’s latest comedy special.
Employees and supporters staged a protest outside the company’s headquarters on Wednesday (20 October) to condemn Netflix’s handling of complaints against Chappelle’s special, The Closer, which has been widely criticised for transphobic and homophobic jokes.
The former Charmed actor condemned the Netflix employees who decided to walk out in protest. She described the staffers as “whiney” individuals whose “feelings got hurt by Dave Chappelle”.
“P**s off you brats,” she wrote. “Enough of your fake activism & obnoxious self-importance.”
In a second tweet, she bashed the streamer for an upcoming documentary about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, which she declared was “fake”. McGowan didn’t specify the name of the documentary, but Den of Geek reported Alex Gibney’s 2013 documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks will debut on Netflix this month.
“Do any of you twerps even know your paycheck comes from the deeply corrupt?” McGowan wrote. “Your bosses are DOJ/CIA stooges in on smearing Assange in a fake documentary meant to misinform.”
She continued: “You little Taylors risk NOTHING. It is Zero Hour. Get real or f**k off. Right now it’s about facts not your f**king feelings.”
2) 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 fuck off. Right now it’s about facts not your fucking feelings. 🎈🤺
— Rose✨McGowan (@rosemcgowan) October 21, 2021
People slammed Rose McGowan on social media for her remarks with some people describing her as “hateful”. Others labelled her as “transphobic” or a “TERF”, an initialism that stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist”.
What a hateful woman. The employees participating in the walk out did not even include removing any content among their demands or complaints. The path to becoming a TERF always seems to include building a victim complex and putting down people with legitimate complaints. https://t.co/UEh0rmVMh1
— Timmy Hewitt (@Timmy_Hewitt) October 21, 2021
That’s a hard, far right turn to TERFdom, Rose https://t.co/y7DdjXGtbc
— King | He, him, his (@kikuchileo) October 21, 2021
Imagine aligning yourself with two douchebags and being such a boring terfy turd. https://t.co/YcuywSpdau
— Linduh Evangelista (@marcuslmorris) October 21, 2021
New TERF just unlocked! https://t.co/pEx7Rheg8J
— Tim Fitzgerald (@tim__fitzgerald) October 21, 2021
Fuck this fucking bitch.
Rose McGowan, Queen of the nonsequitor and transphobic asshole.
So sick of this crazy fuckwad’s bullshit. https://t.co/l10JSqy0ZE
— 🎃Co-Founder, Boogeyman Believers of Haddonfield🎃 (@PumpkinWitch6) October 21, 2021
Chappelle’s special, which premiered earlier this month on Netflix, sees the comedian make explicit jokes about trans women’s genitals and defend DaBaby and JK Rowling before declaring himself “Team TERF”.
In the wake of the backlash, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos suggested Chappelle’s anti-trans comments wouldn’t “translate to real-world harm” – a claim he later retracted – in an internal memo.
He has now admitted that he “screwed up” internal communications around the special, but he refused to believe the special “falls into hate speech”. Sarandos told Variety the special would remain on Netflix as he didn’t “believe there have been many calls to remove it”.
Several celebrities including Angelica Ross, Elliot Page, Dan Levy and Wanda Sykes have shown solidarity with trans Netflix staff and allies who walked out of the streaming giant’s offices in protest.
Page declared he stood with the “trans, non-binary and BIPOC employees at Netflix fighting for more and better trans stories and a more inclusive workplace”.
Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy said he supported “every employee at Netflix using their voice to ensure a safe and supportive work environment”.
“I’ve seen first hand how vital television can be when it comes to influencing the cultural conversation,” Levy wrote. “That impact is real and works both ways: positively AND negatively.”
He added: “Transphobia is unacceptable and harmful. That isn’t a debate.”