Netflix Fires Employee Who Leaked Information About Dave Chappelle Special

The move comes as the streaming giant faces employee backlash over the comedian’s stand-up show that some said was offensive to transgender community.

Wsjspeeddesk, Media Content Distribution

10/15/2021 11:30:00 PM

Netflix fired an employee who it said had leaked confidential financial information about the streaming giant’s controversial Dave Chapelle stand-up comedy special “The Closer” to Bloomberg News, the company said Friday

The move comes as the streaming giant faces employee backlash over the comedian’s stand-up show that some said was offensive to transgender community.

fired an employee who it said had leaked confidential financial information about the streaming giant’s controversial Dave Chapelle stand-up comedy special “The Closer” to Bloomberg News, the company said Friday.“We understand the employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company,” a Netflix spokesman said.

The leak of financial information, including the production costs for “The Closer,” came in the midst of aover the content of the special, which include remarks that many in the transgender community have found offensive.Netflix is known for itswide-open culture

, which includes access to sensitive financial information and employee salaries to much of the company’s workforce. In other entertainment companies, such data is guarded much more closely.It is rare for Netflix to experience leaks of such details about programming costs that it essentially hides in plain sight for employees to view. While the Netflix culture is known for its encouragement of radical candor and speaking one’s mind, that doesn’t apply to sharing nonpublic information about the company.

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The pushback from employees inside Netflix has accelerated in the past few days. A transgender-employee group is urging all Netflix staffers to boycott work next Wednesday in protest.Netflix Co-Chief Executive Ted Sarandos has tried to calm the fires with emails acknowledging the hurt of some staffers while defending freedom of expression. However, the tone of the emails, which some people close to the company described as “shrill” and “preachy,” seem to have fallen short.

Earlier Friday, Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby blasted Mr. Sarandos for being included in the company’s defense of Mr. Chappelle’s new special in one of Mr. Sarandos’s messages.Ms. Gadsby, whose highly praised 2018 special “Nanette” and 2020 special “Douglas” both streamed on Netflix, called out Mr. Sarandos after Variety published an internal memo from Mr. Sarandos that cited Ms. Gadsby as an example of how the company seeks to elevate the voices of marginalized communities.

Hannah Gadsby, an Australian comedian, joined the criticism of Netflix amid a growing backlash against the streaming platform.Photo:Charley Gallay/Getty Images“Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn’t drag my name into your mess,” Ms. Gadsby wrote in an Instagram post early Friday. “Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chapelle’s fans like to unleash on me.”

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“You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted,” Ms. Gadsby added.Netflix had no comment on Ms. Gadsby’s post. A representative for Ms. Gadsby didn’t respond to requests for comment.

In “The Closer,” which was released last week and is currently among the most-watched programs on the service in the U.S., Mr. Chappelle said “gender is a fact” and said he identified as a “TERF,” an acronym that stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” Mr. Chappelle said he isn’t a favorite of the trans community, then added, “Someone told me, ‘They after you, Dave,’ and I said, ‘One they or many theys?’ ”

He also was critical of how the trans community has responded to his previous specials as well as for attacking other artists who have made comments or expressed opinions that have been criticized by the LGBTQ community. “Stop punching down on my people,” Mr. Chappelle said at the conclusion of “The Closer.”

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Terra Field, a Netflix software engineer who is transgender, criticized Mr. Chappelle on Twitter, saying the comedian targeted “the trans community, and the very validity of transness.”The National Black Justice Coalition asked Netflix to take the special down. In a statement on Twitter, GLAAD said misinformation and stereotypes about LGBTQ people in film and television leads to “real world harm, especially for trans people & LGBTQ people of color.”

In a companywide email earlier this week, Mr. Sarandos said the streaming platform wouldn’t take down the special, saying he didn’t believe the special incited violence.Netflix executives have noted that the company has been very proactive in creating content for the LGBTQ community and working with diverse performers. Shows it has made featuring LGBTQ performers include “Sense8,” “Orange Is the New Black,” “Sex Education” and “Control Z.” It also has a development deal with transgender producer Janet Mock.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal »

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So one person’s opinion is news now? WSJ has gone down hill Hannah Gadsby is funny in the way that 'body positive' people think that fat people are healthy. Signed - obese guy who knows he's not healthy but losing weight and getting healthier! Who gives a fuck? He should be fired. He broke their company policy. This would happen with any business. netflix did the right thing.

Not growing, but thanks for trying I guess. She is not funny but Chappelle is. I hope they double down and sign Louis C.K. for a bunch of specials too. Lgtb folks are on the dark side after the Chapelle show, they're Showing some true colors. Who ?

Netflix Fires Employee for Sharing Confidential Data About Dave Chappelle Stand-Up Special Outside the CompanyA source familiar with the situation told Variety that the leaked information was cited in a Bloomberg article about the Netflix employee backlash over Dave Chappelle’s controversial stand-up special 'The Closer.' Apparently, there's a Netflix algorithm on how to keep digging a hole. F U Netflix. I hope you lose money on 'The Closer'.

Netflix Employee Group Calls for Walkout Amid Tensions Over Dave Chappelle ShowA group for transgender employees at Netflix is encouraging staff to stage a walkout following the company's defense of Dave Chapelle's latest stand-up special Do not cave to the children good They are hearing words but not listening.

Netflix Fires Alleged Leaker As Dave Chappelle News Cycle Continues“The only person who gets fired is the Black person who was quiet the entire time,” the employee responded. Leaking proprietary information that is not yours to release is not “being quiet.” I'm so confused, and I certainly don't mean any offense to anyone but I guess I'm just ignorant. The whistle blower was black, pregnant and trans? Conflicting stories: daily beast says she organized a walkout.

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Netflix trans employees and allies plan walkout in protest of Dave Chappelle specialTrans employees and allies at Netflix are planning a walkout on Oct. 20 in protest of co-CEO Ted Sarandos' comments regarding Dave Chappelle's new special. It’s like they didn’t actually watch the Cloaer Example you know like him and Joe Piscopo……,It’s an Aquarius thing This just proves Chappelle’s point.

Damon Wayans compares Dave Chappelle to van Gogh, says he's 'freed the slaves' with Netflix special'I feel like Dave freed the slaves. Yeah, the comedians,' the 61-year-old actor told TMZ. 'We were slaves to PC culture and he just, you know as an artist he's van Gogh. He cut his ear off. He's trying to tell us it's ok.' Bullshit because is black Watched it last night and Chappelle was SpotOn