Netflix Suspends Trans Employee Who Crashed Executive Meeting to Protest Dave Chappelle

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos arrives for the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images/Netflix

Netflix has suspended a transgender employee who protested the streaming service’s ties to comedian Dave Chappelle and who reportedly tried to crash an executive meeting to protest the comedian.

Chappelle has remained defiant in the face of the cancel culture, but several Netflix employees have voiced their displeasure that the streamer has continued to air the comedian’s specials.

One employee, Terra Field, bashed Netflix airing Chappelle’s October 5 comedy special The Closer, in which he again called out the radical transgender movement. Field called the his comedy bits an “attack” on the trans community, and also accused Chappelle of “trying to pit us against other marginalized groups.”

Field posted a long thread criticizing Netflix that subsequently went viral. But after people began taking notice of the tweets, Field put a lockdown on the Twitter account so outsiders could not see the posts.

Netflix did respond to Field’s arguments, though. According to The Verge, on October 8th, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos told employees, “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.”

Sarandos added:

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.

The company position was apparently not enough for Field who reportedly tried to crash an executive-level meeting at Netflix as a protest over Chappelle’s shows. Field, along with two others, was reportedly suspended after taking that action.

Field is not the only transgender Netflix employee who has taken personal action over Chappelle’s comedy specials. Jaclyn Moore, the white, male-to-female writer and showrunner of the Netflix drama Dear White People, has claimed to have quit working for the streaming giant over the Chappelle controversy.

Chappelle’s specials continue to polarize. On the Rotten Tomatoes review page for The Closer, the critic class panned the event because of Chappelle’s transgender criticism while actual viewers gave it a 96 percent positive score.

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