Netflix is under fire from the internet after suspending a trans employee who took to Twitter to express criticism of the streaming service’s decision to host another Dave Chapelle special, The Closer, in which the comedian speaks negatively about trans people.
Shortly after Chappelle’s new special debuted on Netflix, Terra Field, a trans employee of the company, criticized the special for “harm content like this does to the trans community” in a thread on Twitter where they go on to highlight a long list of trans women of color who have been murdered in the last year.
In the special, Chapelle defended Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for her past comments on trans women which critics have described as trans-exclusionary radical feminism. Chapelle also said “gender is a fact” in the special in addition to other comments during a segment where he pokes fun at the trans community.
News of the employee’s suspension comes via The Verge which reported that another trans employee is quitting over the handling of the special and the choice to suspend Field. A spokesperson for the company said it was “absolutely untrue” that Netflix suspended Field for tweeting about the special, and Yahoo News reported Netflix suspended Field along with two other employees for attending the company’s Quarterly Business Review meeting uninvited.
Some on Twitter have criticized the company for hypocrisy in the wake of the controversy over the latest Chapelle special citing statements the company has made in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community in the past.
A former Netflix employee, Jaclyn Moore, left the company over their choice to platform the special. The National Black Justice Coalition has also called for The Closer to be removed from Netflix. Despite this, it is unlikely it will be removed, as Netflix co-CEO said in an internal email:
“You should also be aware that some talent may join third parties in asking us to remove the show in the coming days, which we are not going to do.”
While there is no other official word from Netflix yet, it seems Terra Field has commented on the situation: