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Netflix reinstates suspended employees over Dave Chappelle row

The Netflix engineer Terra Field has been reinstated to her job after she came out alongside other employees and criticised the streaming giant’s new Dave Chappelle special, The Closer. Netflix maintained that her suspension had nothing to do with the criticism.

Netflix argued that the suspension came after Field and two other employees protested The Closer by crashing the company’s quarterly business review meeting. 

On Monday, a Netflix spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times: “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.” 

Yesterday, on October 12, a company spokesperson confirmed Field’s reinstatement alongside the other two employees. They claimed that Netflix “will be distributing broader guidance about meetings and clarifying which are for which people”.

On Tuesday, Field posted the notice of her reinstatement, which at one point reads: “Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn’t think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting.”

Field appended, “At the very least, I feel vindicated.”

This news will be welcomed by Field and audiences as Netflix have not exactly covered itself in glory during the debacle. On Monday, CEO Ted Sarandos told senior staff members in an internal memo acquired by Variety: “Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him”.

He maintained: “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.” 

Sarandos then went on to state that he does not believe that The Closer violates the company’s content guidelines, which prohibits titles “designed to incite hate or violence.”

On October 6, Field explained in a Tweet how they felt that Netflix had allowed Chappelle to directly attack “the trans community, and the very validity of transness” in the show.

This is still a developing story. 

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