Netflix fires organiser of employee walkout in row over Dave Chappelle special

Netflix fires organiser of employee walkout in row over Dave Chappelle special
Streaming service accuses employee of leaking confidential data relating to comedian’s controversial special

Netflix has fired an organiser of the transgender employee walkout which was planned for 20 October.

According to The Verge, the employee is Black and pregnant. They had been rallying employees of the streaming service to walkout in protest against Dave Chappelle’s latest special, The Closer.

Netflix confirmed to Variety that it let the employee go due to “sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company”.

A statement from the streaming service added: “We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”

The information in question relates to financial figures for The Closer, including what Netflix paid Chappelle and how many people watched the special.

The figures, which ended up in a Bloomberg report, cite that Chappelle was paid $24.1m (£17.5m) for The Closer and $23.6m (£17.1m) for his previous special, Sticks and Stones.

Netflix and Chappelle have come under heavy criticism since the release of the special with many labelling it “transphobic”.

Chappelle’s comments that he is “team TERF” (which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist) in particular drew backlash and led to transgender Netflix employees organising a walkout in protest.

Netflix boss, Ted Sarandos, has defended Chappelle, saying in a memo to staff: “We have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.”

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Sarandos himself has been criticised for how he has handled the backlash, most notably by comedian Hannah Gadsby, who has also released specials for the streamer.

Netflix has previously suspended three employees who had spoken out against Chappelle on Twitter but later reinstated them.