Netflix Employee Suspended Following Controversy Over Latest Chappelle Special

A transgender Netflix employee was allegedly suspended from work after posting a string of tweets critical of Dave Chappelle’s newest special, “The Closer.” While the suspension was verified by a Netflix representative, the worker was reportedly suspended for other reasons.

According to The Verge, the Netflix spokesperson dismissed the notion that the employee was suspended for the tweets, saying, “It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employee for tweeting about this show. Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly, and we support their right to do so.”

Additionally, The New York Post reported that a source close to the situation said, “We have a culture that encourages employees to disagree openly. But last week, we had three employees (including Terra) who are not Directors join the quarterly meeting for Directors and Vice Presidents without notifying the people who run the meeting first. Our team is investigating all three incidents, and Terra’s suspension was as a result of that investigation. The decision was unrelated to her Tweets.”

In the special, the veteran comedian makes several jokes at the expense of the transgender community, prompting Terra Field, a senior software engineer for Netflix, to speak out publicly, saying, “We launched another Chappelle special where he attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness — all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups. You’re going to hear a lot of talk about ‘offense.’ We are not offended.” Field was then reportedly suspended “for trying to attend a meeting she wasn’t invited to.”

One of Field’s numerous complaints was that Chappelle’s support for “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling and her stance as a “TERF,” or trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

Field stated, “Promoting TERF ideology (which is what we did by giving it a platform yesterday) directly harms trans people, it is not some neutral act. This is not an argument with two sides. It is an argument with trans people who want to be alive and people who don’t want us to be.”

Another transgender Netflix employee plans to quit working at the streaming site, citing concerns about “how the special — and Field’s comments — were handled.”

In an Oct. 8 message published by The Verge, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos addressed the Chappelle situation, siding with Chappelle and warning staff to expect some negative press. He stated, “You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do. Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him. His last special, Sticks & Stones, also controversial, is our most-watched, stickiest, and most award-winning stand-up special to date.”

Sarandos continued, “Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe “The Closer” crosses that line. I recognize, however, that 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.”

Chappelle has taken the criticism in stride, saying, “If this is what being canceled is about, I love it.”

Additionally, during a screening of “Untitled: Dave Chappelle Documentary” at the Hollywood Bowl, he had some choice words for the media, “F**k Twitter. F**k NBC News, ABC News, all these stupid ass networks. I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to you. This is real life,” he stated to a crowd of around 18,000.


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