A trans Netflix employee who virally tweeted against a new Dave Chappelle comedy special on the service has reportedly been suspended. The company representative acknowledged the ban but said it was for other reasons.
“It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show,” the spokesperson added. “Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly, and we support their right to do so.”
An unnamed source stated that the suspension resulted from an “investigation” unconnected to the employee’s social media statements, saying, “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,” and, “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 Closer,” Chapelle, 48, pokes fun at the trans community and appears to encourage 29-year-old rapper DaBaby’s homophobic outburst from last summer.
Terra Field, a Netflix software developer, openly criticized the Oct. 5 update.
“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 last week on Twitter. Field was then reportedly fired from Netflix for “trying to attend a meeting she wasn’t invited to.”
According to the publication, another trans staffer is leaving the streaming service over “the program—and Field’s comments.”
Field wanted Chappelle to endorse “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling, 56, and her term “TERF,”—a trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Netflix’s controversial comedy special “The Closer” is generating controversy.
“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,” Field tweeted, listing previous trans deaths.
In an Oct. 8 letter acquired by The Verge, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended Chappelle and urged staff to brace for a storm of bad press.
In his email, Sarandos wrote, “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.”
He added, “Chappelle is one of the most popular stand-up comedians today, and we have a long-standing deal with him,” then, “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 … 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 said in response to the harsh comments: “If this is what being canceled is about, I love it.”
“[Expletive] Twitter. [Expletive] 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 told a raucous crowd of over 18,000 at the Hollywood Bowl after his documentary “Untitled: Dave Chappelle.”
Field has been active on Twitter since the reported ban, thanking fans for their support. “Someone I chatted with on Grindr years ago just messaged me to tell me they’re proud of me for standing up for myself. True allyship right there,” Field wrote.