Netflix has suspended 3 employees but says it wasn’t for criticism of its Dave Chappelle special

Netflix has suspended 3 employees but says it wasn’t for criticism of its Dave Chappelle special

  • Netflix has suspended three employees for crashing an executive meeting, The Verge and Variety reported.
  • One of the staffers had criticized transphobic comments in Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix special on Twitter last week.
  • Netflix said the employees were not suspended because of anything they tweeted about the special.


Netflix
has suspended three employees for attending an executive meeting they were not invited to, including a trans staffer who recently criticized the company’s new Dave Chappelle standup special, “The Closer,” The Verge and Variety reported on Monday.

The trans employee, senior software engineer Terra Field, tweeted a thread on Wednesday that went viral in which she said that Chappelle “attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness — all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups.”

In a statement, Netflix said the employees were not suspended because of anything they tweeted about the special.

“It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly and we support their right to do so.”

Field did not return requests for an interview.

During the meeting, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos took questions about how Netflix should address employees and talent being upset about Chappelle’s special, according to Variety.

Sarandos then sent an internal memo addressing concerns, in which he said that Netflix would not remove the special, The Verge and Variety reported.

“Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long standing deal with him,” Sarandos wrote, in part. “His last special, ‘Sticks & Stones,’ also controversial, is our most watched, stickiest, and most award winning stand-up special to date. As with our other talent, we work hard to support their creative freedom — even though this means there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful, like ‘Cuties,’ ‘365 Days,’ ’13 Reasons Why,’ or ‘My Unorthodox Life.'”

He added: “Distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. Some people find the art of stand-up to be mean-spirited but our members enjoy it, and it’s an important part of our content offering.”

Netflix declined to comment on the memo.

Other Netflix employees also spoke out against the special on Twitter, as did Jaclyn Moore, who is trans and is an executive producer on Netflix’s “Dear White People.”

Moore tweeted that she would “not work with [Netflix] as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content.”

In the special, Chappelle said that “gender is a fact” and defended “Harry Potter” author JK Rowling — who has been criticized for anti-trans comments — by saying “Team TERF!,” which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

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