Netflix Suspends Employee Who Called Out Transphobic ‘Jokes’ In ‘The Closer’
By Alexa Heah, 12 Oct 2021
Image via Netflix
If you’ve been on social media sites over the last week, there’s no doubt you’d have come across a whole range of opinions regarding Dave Chappelle’s latest special, The Closer, on Netflix.
Many in the LGBTQ+ community pointed out that Chappelle had made queerphobic jokes especially aimed at trans folk. This has led swaths of people to criticize both the comic and Netflix, saying that the streaming platform should never have let such content air.
The online debates have caused so much furor that Netflix’s co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, wrote a memo to staff addressing the backlash. He said: “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.”
Further contributing to the melee is the reported firing of Terra Field, who worked as senior engineer at Netflix. She was one of the the streaming giant’s employees who was vocal about her distaste for the special on social media, publishing an entire thread about how Chappelle’s jokes harms the trans community. Field herself identifies as queer and trans.
Now, with news spreading that Field has allegedly been suspended, many advocates who were already upset with Netflix just got a whole lot angrier.
While the company said her suspension had nothing to do with her Twitter thread, general consensus is that no one’s quite buying that. It was also not lost on the LGBTQ+ community that news of her suspension was making headlines on National Coming Out Day.
According to Input, Netflix is denying that Field’s suspension is related to the Twitter thread or the Chappelle special. The firm said that she was involved in crashing a virtual conference of “top 500” employees, along with two others, who were also suspended.
“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 said in a statement.
Despite the outrage, it looks like Netflix isn’t going to remove the comedy release, with Sarandos backing up the decision by saying the company “draws the line on hate” and doesn’t publish content “designed to incite hate for violence.”
Will this uproar have any consequences on the popularity of the streaming site? Or will things blow over till the next “problematic” series?
I work at @netflix. Yesterday 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. You're going to hear a lot of talk about "offense".— Terra Field (@RainofTerra) October 7, 2021
We are not offended 🧵
[via Input, cover image via Netflix]
More related news