Netflix Fired an Employee for Leaking Data About Dave Chappelle's 'The Closer'

The person in question was also the organizer of an employee walk-out planned in response to the special

BY Kaelen BellPublished Oct 15, 2021

Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special — y'know, the one where he was paid millions of dollars (for the sixth time) by the biggest streaming platform in the world to lament that his free speech is being threatened — continues to create controversy and have material negative effect on the lives of people that aren't Dave Chappelle.

As reported by Indiewire, It was revealed today that Netflix has fired an employee who leaked confidential information to Bloomberg about the cost of Chappelle's latest special, The Closer

"We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company," a Netflix representative told IndieWire in a statement. "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."

According to the leaked data presented to Bloomberg, Netflix spent $24.1 million USD on The Closer, a figure that was never meant to be revealed to the public. Chappelle's previous Netflix special, Sticks and Stones, cost the streamer $23.6 million USD. 

The employee, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of being harassed online, was also the organizer of a planned employee walk-out at the company, which was scheduled for October 20 in response to Netflix's handling of the controversy surrounding The Closer

This is not the first time a Netflix employee has faced consequences in the wake of Chappelle's special. Last week, the company suspended Terra Field, a trans software engineer who posted a viral tweet thread about the controversy, for allegedly appearing at a director-level meeting to which she wasn't permitted. However, Field has since been reinstated. 

In a defence of The Closer, Netflix's co-chief executive Ted Sarandos brought up Hannah Gadsby (whose special Nannette became a lightning rod when it was released in 2018) as an example of an opposing, LGBTQ-friendly POV available on the platform. This led to a response from Gadsby, who said in a statement posted to her Instagram:

Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn't drag my name into your mess. Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle's fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial worldview. 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. Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult…I do shits with more backbone than you. That's just a joke! I definitely didn't cross a line because there isn't one.

It feels like this probably isn't the last we're going to hear about Chapelle's special, but at least his fans can rest assured that he's still really, really, really rich.

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