- Netflix has fully reinstated a trans staff member and two others who were suspended after protesting Dave Chappelle's comedy special 'The Closer.'
- Trans employee Terra Field was earlier suspended for attending an executive meeting she was not invited to.
- Trans staff at Netflix are now planning a walkout to protest co-CEO Ted Sarandos' stand that the comedy special not be taken down.
Netflix has fully reinstated a trans employee and two others who criticized the company's latest Dave Chappelle stand-up comedy special, "The Closer."
Terra Field, a software engineer at the company, said in an October 13 tweet that her employment status with Netflix was fully reinstated after the company found "no ill-intent" in her attendance at a "director-level" meeting to which she had not been invited. Field was one of three employees suspended after attending the meeting.
Field's suspension occurred amid an ongoing controversy regarding comedian Dave Chappelle's sixth stand-up special, "The Closer." Chappelle was criticized and accused by trans people of making anti-trans comments during his stand-up special and for declaring that he is "Team TERF!," which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.
Field posted a Twitter thread on October 7, where she said that Chappelle "attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness – all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups." She and two other employees were subsequently suspended, per reports by The Verge and Variety on Monday.
A Netflix spokesperson told Deadline that the two other suspended employees were also fully reinstated, along with Field.
On October 13, Field posted what appears to be a screenshot informing her that she'd been reinstated as an employee.
The message reads: "Our investigation did not find that you joined the QBR [quarterly business review] meeting with any ill intent and that you genuinely didn't think there was anything wrong with seeking access to this meeting. Additionally, when a Director shared the link it further supported that this was a meeting that you could attend."
"I'm going to take a few days off to decompress and try to figure out where I'm at. At the very least, I feel vindicated," she said.
Netflix previously told Insider that Field had not been suspended for tweeting about the comedy special.
"It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show," a Netflix spokesperson said. "Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly, and we support their right to do so."
Per an exclusive report by entertainment news site Variety, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote an internal memo to Netflix staff on October 8 defending Chappelle's special.
"Several of you have also asked where we draw the line on hate. We don't allow titles at Netflix that are designed to incite hate or violence, and we don't believe 'The Closer' crosses that line," it read.
"Particularly in stand-up comedy, artistic freedom is obviously a very different standard of speech than we allow internally as the goals are different: entertaining people versus maintaining a respectful, productive workplace," Sarandon added in the memo seen by Variety.
Netflix staff are planning a company-wide walk-out on October 20 to express their discontent with Sarandos' response. According to reporting by The Verge, the walkout is being organized by a trans employee resource group at Netflix.
"Trans Lives Matter. Trans Rights Matter. And as an organization, Netflix has continually failed to show deep care in our mission to Entertain the World by repeatedly releasing content that harms the Trans community and continually failing to create content that represents and uplifts Trans content," read the internal memo announcing the walkout seen by The Verge.
Netflix declined to comment on the memo, per reporting from Insider's Travis Clark. Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider on the planned October 20 staff walk-out.
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