A top Netflix supervisor said Dave Chappelle’s special “The Closer” doesn’t cross “the line on hate” and will continue on the streaming service despite the effect of the comedian’s remarks about the transgender community.
In an internal memo, co-CEO Ted Sarandos warned managers that “some talent” may join third parties in a name for the show’s removal, adding, “which we are not going to do.”
Netflix refused to remark on the memo, which was reported Monday by Variety.
But the company reacted to the news it had terminated three workers, including one, Terra Field, who’d criticized Chappelle’s special in tweets. The field specifies herself on Twitter as a senior software engineer at Netflix and as trans.
“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,” Netflix told in a statement.
According to a person aware of the matter, the three employees met a quarterly meeting for company directors and vice presidents without earning authorization. The person, who wasn’t authorized to talk about the situation publicly, said one worker was adjourned as a result of an investigation.
Field didn’t instantly respond to a request for the statement. In her posts, she told that Chappelle was being criticized not because his statements are offensive but for the harm they do to the trans community, particularly Black women.
The field comprised a list of trans and nonbinary men and women of colour who she explained had been killed, adding in each case that the victim “is not offended.”
An envoy for Chappelle didn’t react to a request for comment.
In an announcement on Monday, the media watchdog group GLAAD said that “anti-LGBTQ content” violates Netflix’s policy to reject programs that incite hate or violence. GLAAD called on Netflix executives to “listen to LGBTQ employees, industry leaders, and audiences and commit to living up to their own standards.”
When Chappelle’s special was published last week, the group told that the comedian’s “brand has become synonymous with ridiculing trans people and other marginalized communities.”
Jaclyn Moore, who was an editor and producer on the Netflix show “Dear White People,” tweeted that she worked with executives and others at the duty who “fought for important art” and that she told “the story of my transition for @netflix.”
But she confronts hate and attacks because “I’m not a ‘real woman,’” Moore said.
“I will not work with them as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content,” she said on Twitter.