Netflix has suspended three people, including a transgender employee who publicly criticized Dave Chappelle.
Terra Field, a senior software engineer, condemned Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special The Closer in a Twitter thread on October 6. She said the comedian “attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness – all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups.”
Field’s Twitter thread went viral, generating thousands of retweets and likes on the social media platform. Less than a week later, Field was suspended by Netflix.
The Verge was the first to report on the suspension. Netflix claims Field isn’t being punished for the tweets about Dave Chappelle.
“It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show,” Netflix said in a statement. “Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly, and we support their right to do so.”
According to Variety and NBC News, Field and two others were suspended for trying to attend a quarterly meeting for Netflix executives. The identities of the other two employees haven’t been revealed.
Dave Chappelle’s The Closer has come under fire for being transphobic. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the special in a leaked email.
“Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate,” he wrote. “We don’t allow titles on Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don’t believe The Closer crosses that line.”
He added, “I recognize, however, that distinguishing between commentary and harm is hard, especially with stand-up comedy which exists to push boundaries. 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.”
Sarandos also warned staff that some talent may join “third parties” in calling for the removal of Dave Chappelle’s special. He insisted Netflix would not remove The Closer from its streaming services.