Saturday , February 4 2023

Netflix suspends a trans employee who tweeted about Dave Chappelle


Netflix suspended a trance employee who tweeted about Dave Chapelle’s comedy The Closer. In the stand-up set, which was released on October 5, Chappelle doubled his jokes about LGBTK groups.

The next day, Netflix software engineer Terra Field tweeted about Chappelle, writing that the comedian “attacks the trans community and the very importance of transness” in a special issue:

The topic of the tweet went viral, it quickly entered the conversation about freedom of speech and the cancellation of culture. Netflix then suspended Field, allegedly for trying to attend a meeting she was not invited to, according to people familiar with the matter. Another trans employee is leaving the company because of the way they handled the special and Field comments.

The special has caused significant controversy within Netflix. Shortly after it was released, employees began asking persistent questions about whether trans people were involved in the decision to broadcast the special program and where the company drew the line between commentary and transphobia.

“We repeatedly offer a platform for content that is detrimental to the trans community,” a current employee wrote in a Netflix open question and answer document. “These decisions have a significant impact on our business, including harm to our current employees and refusal to work with us. What is our plan on how we will specifically fix this situation? “None of the questions he saw The Verge asked to take off the special.

On October 8, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos answered questions in an internal email. “It never feels good when people hurt, especially our colleagues,” he wrote. “You should also be aware that some talent could join third parties by asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we will not do.”

Sarandos also said that Chappelle is the last specialty, Sticks and stones, Netflix is ​​”the most watched, the most beautiful and the most awarded stand-up so far”.

He added:

Several of you have also asked where we draw the line of hatred. We do not allow headlines on Netflix that are designed to provoke hatred or violence, and we do not believe Closer crosses that line. I admit, however, that it’s hard to differentiate between comment and damage, especially with the stand-up comedy that exists to push the boundaries. For some people, the art of getting up is malicious, but our members enjoy it and it is an important part of our content offering.

A group of trans employee resources at Netflix has been meeting with executives for years to try to educate them about the impact of transphobic content, the current employee says. When Netflix bought the movie Girl, about a fifteen-year-old ballerina preparing for a sex-confirmation operation, sparked more internal conversations about cisgender directors creating content about trans people.

Sarandos said the company’s commitment to inclusion is reflected in headlines like Sex education i Discovery, a documentary about the impact of Hollywood on the trans community. But one current employee says The Verge their statement did not waver. “You can’t compensate for carbon intolerance,” they said dryly. Discovery director Sam Feder also tweeted which Netflix “rented.” [the documentary] for half of what it cost to do it. ”

Netflix has a long history with Dave Chappelle. In 2016, the comedian signed a contract to create three special offers for the platform. Four years later, Netflix withdrew Chappelle’s Show from a streaming service at the request of a comedian. (He then re-established it in 2021 after Chappelle beef with Comedy Central died out.)

But while earlier comedian specials caused controversy, the last Chappelle provoked a much stronger response. Closer has provoked criticism from GLAAD, who wrote yes on Twitter “Dave Chappelle’s brand has become synonymous with ridicule of trans people and other marginalized communities.” Diversity, The National Coalition for Black Justice said: “Perpetuated transphobia prolongs violence. Netflix should be withdrawn immediately Closer from your platform and directly apologize to the transgender community. “

Read the full Ted Sarandos email below:

Netflix declined to comment on the story.

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