Netflix backs Chappelle despite criticism over trans remarks
A top Netflix executive has said Dave Chappelle’s special The Closer does not cross “the line on hate” and will remain on the streaming service despite fallout over the comedian’s remarks about the transgender community.
In an internal memo, co-CEO Ted Sarandos told managers that “some talent” may join third parties in calling for the show’s removal, adding, “which we are not going to do”.
Netflix declined comment on the memo, which was reported by Variety on Monday.
But the company responded to news reports it had suspended three employees, including one, Terra Field, who had criticised Chappelle’s special in tweets. Field identifies 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 said in a statement.
According to a person familiar with the matter, the three employees joined a quarterly meeting for company directors and vice presidents without gaining authorisation. The person, who was not authorised to discuss the situation publicly, said one worker was suspended as a result of an investigation.
What, if any, action was or might be taken against the other two workers was unknown.
Field did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In her posts, she said Chappelle was being criticised not because his comments were offensive but for the harm they do to the trans community, especially black women.
Field included a list of trans and non-binary men and women of colour who she said had been killed, adding in each case that the victim “is not offended”.
A representative for Chappelle did not respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.