Netflix suspends employees who spoke out against Dave Chappelle
(Credit: Sayan Ghosh)

Netflix News

Netflix suspends employees who spoke out against Dave Chappelle

Three Netflix employees, including a woman who tweeted her disapproval over the jokes made by Dave Chappelle in his recent special The Closer for the streaming service, have been suspended after crashing a company event.

Terra Field, a senior software engineer for Netflix, was among the three employees suspended last week for attending the “QBR” – Netflix’s quarterly business review. The meeting is a virtual outing for the company’s top employees that Field and her two fellow employees did not have invitations to.

It’s not currently known what, if anything, the three employees did when they crashed the meeting. There were initial rumours that the employees had been suspended due to their extracurricular tweets, specifically a number of Field’s tweets that criticised Chappelle’s jokes made against trans individuals.

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

During the meeting, Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos referred to Chappelle’s special, Sticks & Stones, in his address. “Chapelle 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 wrote.

“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.”

The Closer has been subjected to a negative reception for Chappelle’s depiction of the LGBTQ+ community. Jaclyn Moore, a writer and co-showrunner for the Netflix show Dear White People, is boycotting the company in response to the special. “After the Chappelle special, I can’t do this anymore. I won’t work for Netflix again as long as they keep promoting and profiting from dangerous transphobic content,” Moore shared on social media.

“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,” Field said in her tweets that started with an insistence that the negative reception isn’t due to taking offence to the comments, but that “our existence is ‘funny’ to him – and when we object to his harm, we’re ‘offended.’”

“What we object to is the harm that content like this does to the trans community (especially trans people of colour) and VERY specifically Black trans women,” Field continues. People who look like me aren’t being killed. I’m a white woman, I get to worry about Starbucks writing ‘Tara’ on my drink.”

Field went on to say that “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.”

You can read the full thread from Field down below.