Dave Chappelle ‘Closer’ Controversy Blast Radius Grows As Netflix Pink Slips Dismayed Staffer Over Leak

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Now things are really getting messy.

Netflix has today fired a long time employee who leaked confidential financial information in response to the streamer’s launch of Dave Chappelle’s controversial The Closer special on October 5.

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“We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company,” a Netflix spokesperson said Friday.”We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company.”

The employee in question is not Terra Field. The Northern California based senior software engineer posted pointed tweets about Chappelle’s trans focused special and how it made her feel as a trans staffer at the streamer. In a case of terrible timing, Field and two other staffers were placed on suspension earlier this week for allegedly crashing a virtual meeting above their pay grade. As blowback to the suspension and a ill-considered memo from co-CEO Ted Sarandos was made red faced public, Netflix terminated the suspensions.

A female person of color, the suspected staffer who was axed today is also one of the organizers of a walkout next week by Netflix trans employees over The Closer, Deadline has learned.

The “commercially sensitive information” in question that led to Friday’s firing is that Netflix paid Chappelle $24.1 million for his sixth special for the streamer, up from the $23.6 million the Mark Twain Prize winner received for his 2019 Sticks & Stones special. Appearing in an October 13 Bloomberg article, the leak also revealed that the streamer paid $3.9 million for Bo Burnham’s Inside pandemic special, and $21.4 million for Squid Game. The former was critically acclaimed and the Korean produced latter has gone on to quickly become the most watched Netflix original series ever.

Though the streamer parcels out bits of flattering data here and there, Netflix has always held its viewership and compensation numbers tight to the chest — for better or worse.

With an October 20 walkout by trans staffers planned over remarks Chappelle makes about their community and the LBGTQ+ community as well, internal anger at the streamer has been bubbling over into the public sphere also since The Closer dropped. Intensifying the reaction, Sarandos doubled down on his defense of superstar Chappelle and vowed the streamer would not pull The Closer as the National Black Justice Coalition’s executive director David Johns and others demanded.

As Hollywood stands on the edge of a labor cliff with a October 18 strike deadline by IATSE, the claims of transphobic and hateful extended comments by Chappelle has seen GLAAD chime in, in addition to a heated internal debate at Netflix with a number of trans, non-trans staffers and even co-CEO Reed Hastings speaking their truth — for better or worse.

As well as former Dear White People co-showrunner Jaclyn Moore declaring that she was “done” with Netflix “as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content,” superstar Hannah Gadsby put out her own POV on the situation — and the Nanette performer didn’t leave Sarandos or anyone else any confusion about where she was coming from.

“You didn’t pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted,” wrote Gadsby on social media early this morning. “F**k you and your amoral algorithm cult… I do sh*ts with more back bone than you. That’s just a joke! I definitely didn’t cross a line because you just told the world there isn’t one.”

No word yet what Gadsby’s fate at Netflix is — yet.

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