Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Netflix ends suspension of staffers who complained over streamer's dangerously transphobic Dave Chappelle comedy special.

by Thinus Ferreira

Netflix has ended the suspension of a trans engineer as well as two other staffers at the video streaming service who were suspended on Friday after they attended a virtual Netflix meeting of top bosses at the company and complained about Netflix's dangerously transphobic Dave Chappelle comedy special, The Closer.

Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO, told staffers in an internal memo that Dave Chappelle's The Closer is too popular to remove and that because Netflix does "good" content like Sex EducationYoung RoyalsControl Z and Disclosure, Netflix won't remove "bad" content like The Closer.

Ted Sarandos told Netflix staffers that "there will always be content on Netflix some people believe is harmful" after various American organisations like GLAAD, the National Black Justice Coalition and others have issued statements saying that Netflix's latest Dave Chappelle content is damaging, hurtful, dismissive and cruel. 

Netflix also suspended Terra Field, a Netflix senior software engineer based in San Francisco who is a trans person, and who is one of three people who attended a virtual meeting for Netflix top bosses, that they received an unsolicited virtual link for, with Terra Field who criticised the company for the Dave Chappelle comedy special. 

On Tuesday night Terra Field wrote on Twitter that the suspension of the Netflix staffers have been lifted, saying that "Netflix has reinstated me after finding that there was no ill-intent in my attending the QBR meeting. At the very least, I feel vindicated".

Terra Field shared a section of the Netflix email from a supervisor, noting that "Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn't think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting".

"Additionally when a director shared the link it further supported that this was a meeting that you could attend."

Netflix in a statement says "We will be distributing broader guidance about meetings and clarifying which are for which people".